In this blog series, registered dietitian Marissa Donovan gives you the scoop on the latest nutrition science surrounding cheese. From the farm to the store and to your kitchen, she’s got you covered on what you need to know about cheese and your health.
When I first set out to write this blog series, I had a rough outline of topics I wanted to cover, but I had no idea of the twists and turns the series would take as it unfolded. Akin to the world of food and nutrition, this blog series was in part shaped on the fly, based on what was going on in our food world, embracing trends, new science, and current regulations. These past few months have taken us on a journey of the interplay between nutrition and our favorite ooey-gooey foodstuff, cheese. From the policy backing food regulations to how much cheese we should devour to a look at the often-scoffed vegan cheese, this series has run the gamut.
One of my favorite parts of the blog series was really digging into the research behind cheese and dairy topics that many people are confused about. Things like explaining the difference between organic and conventional milk and helping readers learn how to make a decision in the often daunting milk (and cheese) aisle. Or exploring the worlds of lactose intolerance and diabetes, and what these conditions mean for cheese lovers. And some topics that popped up in our food-world along the way, like the potential new regulations for “natural” labeling and New York City’s new sodium labeling initiative.
There are many mixed messages about food and nutrition swirling around in the media, stores, and restaurants. I hope this blog series can help clear some of the confusion and alleviate any stress you face in choosing cheese and dairy for you and your family. I encourage you to use the skills talked about in this series, like reading ingredients labels, paying attention to serving size, knowing what terms like “organic” and “natural” actually mean, and reassessing how fat relates to your health.
Most of all, I want to remind you that eating is meant to be enjoyable! Your body is not a machine that you feed perfect portions of pre-calculated nutrition. We are all human—eating is something that we do to live—but it is also something that we get great pleasure from,so don’t guilt yourself out of enjoying the things you love. Be mindful when making purchasing, cooking, and eating decisions that align with your values and health needs. But remember to enjoy your curds, too!