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Functional Cheese

Por MyDiet™ -
Functional Cheese

It's true. We don't always have at hand the products we need to put on that perfect, exquisite, low-calorie dinner. It's a weeknight and we don't have a lot of time to go on an extensive shopping trip to the market so instead we have to resort to the corner store.

And what happens when unexpected visitors show up?

Nutritionists agree that the so-called "cheese last resort" is completely valid. In the famous Spanish tradition, a platter of cheeses could be the answer, and it presents a good opportunity to combine dairy with fruit and wonderful flavors.

An essential detail: take the cheese out of the refrigerator a while before eating in order for it to reach its flavor potential. It should be at room temperature so you can fully enjoy it. The amount of time will depend on the type of cheese. Experience indicates that, in general, 15 minutes in summer is enough while 30 minutes is needed in winter.

It's not advisable to freeze cheese because when it's defrosted it loses its wholesomeness and quality.

A good platter of cheese should include a combination of up to five different classes: 

Fresh cheese (from cows or sheep)
Soft cheese (Philadelphia, Mozzarella)
Creamy cheese (Brie, Camembert, Muenster, etc.)
Pressed semi-hard cheeses (Emmental, Gruyere, Edam, etc.)
Blue cheese (Roquefort, Stilton, Gorgonzola, etc.)

The nutritional value of cheese depends on the production, raw materials, and the aging process. During the aging process, cheese is subject to various fermentations (including lactic) and once it transforms into a mass, its weight reduces as the curing process advances.

Cheese is a complete food thanks to its protein content: lipids, minerals such as phosphorous and calcium, especially in hard cheese, and a large majority of vitamins found in fresh milk as well as numerous vitamins from the A, B, and C groups.

In terms of calorie content, it varies for each cheese and this is the factor people on a diet should keep in mind. The average amount of calories is:

Fresh cheese: 100 calories for 100g
Soft cheese: 283 calories for 100g
Hard cheese: 386 calories for 100g

Surround the cheeses by raw vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and celery, and accompany them with a glass of wine. Add some fresh, healthy and colorful grapes to top it off, and the cheese platter will become an unforgettable dinner for yourself and your guests.

 

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