It might sound cheesy, but there’s a reason cheese has been talked about as a “superfood.” It can be super for your health. Cheese gets a pretty bad reputation, especially because it’s a main ingredient in some of the most indulgent foods in America. Macaroni and cheese? Drowning in it. Pizza? Quite literally coated with it. Cheeseburgers, Alfredo pasta, and creamy soups all have one ingredient in common: cheese.
As a result, some people tend to consume excess amounts of this decadent fatty food. Cheese has saturated fat, calories, and sodium — all of which, consumed in excess over time, can cause adverse health effects. A large amount of sodium, for instance, can increase the risk of heart disease and hypertension. However, humans need a moderate amount of sodium to stay alive.
There’s a similar story with cheese. While of course no one needs to eat cheese to keep breathing, humans do need some of the nutrients and health benefits that cheese has to offer. Cheese actually has a lot of essential nutrients that can boost your health and make you feel better. The key is to not overdo it. No one’s recommending you subsist solely on cheesy pasta for the rest of your life. Rather, a more reasonable suggestion might be to eat a couple of portions of cheese per week. Or, you know, to not make yourself feel like a greasy lard ball every time you take a bite of queso.
A serving of cheese is typically about an ounce and a half. That’s the equivalent of a couple of slices on a sandwich or a few spoonfuls of Parmesan sprinkled over some pasta. An ounce of brie or another spreadable cheese amounts to a small chunk, approximately the size of a golf ball.
Eating more than a single serving of cheese in one sitting isn’t going to kill you, so long as you’re not doing it excessively often. (Serving sizes are kind of arbitrary, anyway.) Alternatively, adding cheese to your diet could have a number of health benefits. Cheese, like almond butter or olive oil, is one of those high-calorie foods that’s absolutely filled with nutrients. Here are 17 of the incredible things a little extra cheese can do for your health.