Cheese is a food derived from milk that is produced in a wide range of flavors, textures, and forms by coagulation of the milk protein casein.
It comprises proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep. During production, the milk is usually acidified and adding the enzyme rennet causes coagulation.
Although cheese is a vital source of nutrition in many regions of the world and is extensively consumed in others, its use is not universal.
Today, the variety of cheese to choose from appears limitless. Some of the more popular ones include Swiss, Feta, Cheddar, Mozzarella Cottage, among others.
The nutritional value of cheese varies widely. Cottage cheese may consist of 4% fat and 11% protein while some whey cheeses are 15% fat and 11% protein, and triple-crème cheeses are 36% fat and 7% protein.
In general, cheese is a rich source (20% or more of the Daily Value, DV) of calcium, protein, phosphorus, sodium and saturated fat.
A 28-gram (0.99 oz) (one ounce) serving of cheddar cheese contains about 7 grams (0.25 oz) of protein and 202 milligrams of calcium.
Nutritionally, cheese is essentially concentrated milk: it takes about 200 grams (7.1 oz) of milk to provide that much protein and 150 grams (5.3 oz) to equal the calcium.
According to a new study by the University of Michigan, cheese can actually help kill cancer cells. It all stems from a peptide by the name of nisin. It can be found in dairy products like cheddar, Brie, Camembert cheeses, and some processed meats as well.
The findings published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology shows that nisin dramatically reduced cancerous tumors in mice after ingested — killing between 70 and 80 percent of cancer cells in 9 weeks after the mice were given what the study calls nisin milkshakes. Researchers have posited that “nisin delivers a one-two punch to cancer and deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacteria,” Cosmopolitan reports.
In other words, the peptide attacks cancer cells and takes out all those other antibiotic-resistant bacteria that may also raise health concerns.
This is good news for cheese lovers as this gives them another reason to indulge in eating one of their favorite foods.
Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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