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The A–Z of Cheese Nutrition: Cheese, a Great Choice for Diabetes


A wedge of Beaufort

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. Check out previous posts on lactose intolerance, navigating the milk aisle, and how much cheese is too much. Read on to learn more!


Every 19 seconds someone in the US is diagnosed with diabetes. This amounts to about 30 million children and adults in the United States with diabetes currently, according to the American Diabetes Association.

It’s likely that you, or someone you know, have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce enough insulin (a hormone that regulates blood sugar). In type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t respond well to insulin. The key issue in diabetes management (of both types) is control of blood sugar, or blood glucose.

In addition to insulin and medications, counting carbohydrates is one of the best ways for those with diabetes to manage the disease. Carb-counting involves keeping track of what foods contain carbs and regulating how much of these foods you eat, which helps keep blood sugar stable.

According to the American Diabetes Association, foods that contain carbohydrates include

  • grains like rice, oatmeal, and barley
  • grain-based foods like bread, cereal, pasta, and crackers
  • starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, and corn
  • fruit and juice
  • milk and yogurt
  • dried beans like pinto beans
  • soy products like veggie burgers
  • sweets and snack foods like sodas, cake, cookies, candy

Cheese is a great option for those with diabetes because it contains no (or very little) carbohydrates, so it won’t cause spikes in blood sugar. If you pair cheese with a snack that does contain carbs—think cheese and crackers—it can actually limit the blood sugar rise from the carbs. High-protein foods, like cheese, are also helpful for people with diabetes because they keep you full and stabilize sugars throughout the day.

This month is National Diabetes Month, designed to raise awareness of diabetes, those impacted, and the issues surrounding the disease. The American Diabetes Association’s theme for this year is “Eat Well, America!” Here at culture, we can help you do just that. Eating well doesn’t only mean eating healthy—it means enjoying your food, too. We’ve rounded up a few cheesy, diabetic-friendly recipes, but you don’t have to have diabetes to enjoy them!

Coach Farm Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese and Savory Italian Vinaigrette

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Moroccan Feta Meatballs with Ras El Hanout and Zucchini Noodles

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BelGioioso Grilled Eggplant Lasagna Stacks

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Zucchini and Parmigiano Frittata

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Parmesan and Pureed Greens Soup

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Feature Photo Credit: Beaufort by Foodpictures | Shutterstock

Marissa Donovan

Marissa Donovan is a former upstate New York girl living in a cheese-centric world. Although cheese is her day one, she doesn’t discriminate, as she adores all food. Similar to what Beyoncé advises, she likes food so much she put a degree on it—she’s a registered dietitian and master’s student in the nutrition communication program at Tufts. When she’s not filling her head with food info, she’s filling her belly with food and, as always, trying to bring up cheese in casual conversation.