Cheese is Good as Part of Mediterranean Diet

Cheese is Good as Part of Mediterranean Diet

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Mediterranean Diet & Cheese

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Mediterranean Diet & Cheese


Mediterranean Diet & Cheese

Cheese. Cheddar , cream , and feta cheese on a plate image by L. Shat from Fotolia.com

Mediterranean Diet & Cheese

Overview

The Mediterranean diet food pyramid is quite different from the typical American diet. At the top of the pyramid is red meat, which is eaten in small portions a few times a month. Eggs,poultry and fish are allocated a few servings per week. Yogurt and cheese are eaten daily. Olives and olive oil are eaten in variable amounts. Just above the Mediterranean diet’s base is fruits and vegetables, with nuts and beans allocated a smaller portion. Pasta, grains, bread and other starches are at the base of the food pyramid. The Mediterranean diet is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. This is due to the amount of healthy fat consumed from olive oil and cheese.

Protein Source

As part of a well-balanced diet it is important to get an adequate amount of high-quality protein. Cheese in the Mediterranean diet such as feta, mozzarella and goat cheese provides about 3 to 7 grams of protein for each 1 ounce serving. Protein is essential for the growth of lean muscle mass. Increasing muscle mass will help to speed up your metabolism.

Calcium and Magnesium

The Mediterranean diet encourages eating yogurt and cheese daily, which are sources of the minerals calcium and magnesium. Calcium and magnesium build healthy bones and play an important role in the transmission of nerve signals, the contraction of muscle fibers and lowering blood pressure levels. Eating a diet rich in protein and fat increases your body’s ability to absorb these minerals. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes a balanced intake of protein and fat which makes the minerals from cheese more effective.

Lowers Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential part of the human body. It controls the flow of water and nutrients in every cell of your body. Your nerves and the brain require cholesterol for normal activity. Cholesterol also is a building block for hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and the steroid hydro-cortisol. Cholesterol in your liver aids in the digestion of fatty foods and helps you absorb vitamins A,D,E and K from food. Low-fat cheese in the Mediterranean diet increases the amount of good cholesterol while reducing bad cholesterol levels. Good cholesterol from cheese lets your body perform these key functions.

Low in Saturated Fats

The typical Mediterranean diet encourages eating cheese made from goat and sheep’s milk rather than cow’s milk. Goat and sheep cheese are lower in saturated fats and contain mostly monounsaturated fats which is recommended for keeping the heart healthy. Cheese in the Mediterranean diet is typically raw and unprocessed so that you consume a higher concentration of protein, vitamins and minerals.

Essential B Vitamins

Your diet must include vitamins, but especially those in the B complex group. The Mediterranean diet and cheese gives your body a steady supply of B vitamins such as niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and B-12. These vitamins turn proteins, carbohydrates and fats from the foods you eat into useful material to be used for muscles, blood, enzymes and energy.

Read more at www.livestrong.com

 

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