How much cheese is too much?

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How much cheese is too much?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Mywordz 7 years ago.

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  • I love cheese, especially Cheddar and parmesan and ……………. I am vegetarian, so cheese can sometimes be the easy option. Should I restrict myself to, say, 60g per day or does the quantity really not matter, as long as I keep below my TDEE on non-fast days and below 600 cals on fast days? I love veggies and I do avoid the high carb items apart from the occasional special meal. I tend to opt for full fat cheese/ milk etc.
    So what do you think? I’d really like to know your thoughts and, if possible, your reasons for your preferences.

    Hi Mark,

    If you’re vego then nuts, legumes and eggs would give you lots of proteins to balance out, and avocados are a healthy source of fat. There seem to be 5 schools of thought on fats on the forum –

    1. those who go the saturated full fat route including animal fats
    2. Those who use low fat healthy products (not the ones that include lots of sugars and other junk), and stay away from saturated fats, animal fats and coconut fat.
    3. Lower % of fat in the diet
    4. Higher % of fat in the diet
    5. High % of fat in the diet with lots of coconut oil

    I’m in groups 2 and 3. Low fat foods and if any products, eg yoghurt, cottage cheese etc, I go low fat but no added junk. I don’t know why everybody assumes that you can only go low fat by eating products full of sugar and other junk. I along with others have done it for years without those products. I also believe in a lower % of fat in the diet. The research on heart disease still says saturated and animal fats cause higher rates of problems. Re the coconut, the highest saturated fat, I don’t believe the research is fully in on that, and I have asked various people in the know, including a didtician and so far it’s still seems to be considered a fad. Time will tell.

    As for the cheese question – theoretically having the cheese shouldn’t make a difference if the cals are right on FDs. Do you lose weight if you have the cheese you want on FDs? Experiment on yourself. Try it both ways, with and without for 2-3 FDs of each. What happens? I’ve found out that experimenting on myself has taught me a lot about how I react to different foods. Also, being vego, you need to make sure your proteins are complimentary so you get the full range to make up complete proteins. What you decide on re fats, etc will be influenced by age, heridtary medical history. I’m mid-60’s, with family history of heart disease so low fat, low fat% of diet is a no-brainer for me.

    Good luck
    Onwards and downwards,

    Hi, I’m pretty much of the same mind as Merry. I eat a low fat, low processed food diet, low sugar, high fibre diet that contains a lot of veg and fruit. I also agree that finding sugar free, high quality low fat dairy is not difficult if you know what to look for.

    I love dairy, always have, always will. I could eat an entire block of vintage cheddar (and probably the whole wedge of brie as well) in one sitting if left to my own devices next to the cheese board. It’s one of my high risk foods for bingeing, so I have to limit the quantities I keep in the fridge.

    Mark, I also was vegetarian for a few years, until I developed persistent anaemia that no amount of green veg and iron supplements would fix. So I’ve experimented a lot with various vegetarian proteins over the years. I reluctantly added a little meat back into my diet to address the anaemia, but I still prefer vegetarian foods and flavours and the majority of my meals are still vegetarian. Cheese provides protein and a lot of fat and some very necessary calcium, but it doesn’t provide any fibre as legumes or nuts do. It is also a very high calorie protein source (although not as high as nuts). I personally think that variety is always the best policy when it comes to food choices as it gives my body the best chance of getting all of the micro nutrients that it needs – which means including a wide range of vegetarian proteins in my diet. I also think that the variety gives my intestines the best range of flora and I find my digestive system works best when I eat a wider variety of foods.

    I eat cheese but in fairly limited quantities, although this is only partly due to it’s high calorie count. My decision is also affected by my lack of gall bladder – I have trouble digesting fat and feel nauseous if I eat more than a small amount of fat in a meal.

    I think if you have a healthy gall bladder and your digestive system can tolerate a high quantity of fat in your diet, then cheese every day should be fine. The only other thing you have to be careful of is the calories. The calories add up quickly with high fat foods like cheese and this can keep your daily volume of food quite small if you are trying to stay within your TDEE on NFDs and even harder on a FD.

    Hi Merry and LJ
    Thank you for such detailed replies. There is lots there for me to experiment with. My BMI is 24.2 but I need to lose a stone to bring it down to 22. I spend 5 to 6 months of the year in Spain and 4 or 5 months in the UK. I know that when I am in the UK I will put on weight. It’s the scones, cakes and puddings and just the fact that it is harder to keep track of my weight when I’m there.
    I have just the same relationship with cheese as you do, LJ. It has to be meticulously weighed out or I lose control! But I do have cheese nearly every day. I have no health issues, though at 75 I’m not the youngest bunny on the planet. When I’m 15 years older (90!) I plan to let rip with diet, drugs and rock and roll. Till then I shall behave myself!

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