Parmesan cheese is one of my favorite cheeses. That is because I love Caesars salad, and I always order it with extra Parmesan cheese. For those of you who are wondering if this kind of cheese is fattening or unhealthy, here are the health facts surrounding this popular cheese variety.
When we say cheese, we directly think about it as a fat food item, rich in salt, saturated fat and cholesterol. That might be true for some kinds of cheeses, but not for parmesan cheese, which is named after the Parma region in northern Italy ,and belongs to a kind of cheese called grana because of its grainy texture.
On its health aspects, first of all, Parmesan contains 33 percent protein compared to 20 percent in lean beef and that animal protein takes 4 hours to digest while the protein in Parmesan takes just 45 minutes.
Plus, Parmesan cheese contains bifidus bacteria which is the healthy bacteria needed to maintain a healthy gut with no lactose. This is great news for people who are lactose intolerant. Also, the cholesterol content of Parmesan is only 80 to 85mg/100g, much lower than other full-fat cheeses.
According to healthy guidelines, cholesterol consumption should not exceed 300 mg per day. So, our daily diet should contain some cholesterol which is needed for our cell membranes and is an important precursor to steroid hormones. But, be careful to pick up healthy foods containing cholesterol, like boiled eggs, grilled shrimps, low-fat dairy products rather than fried and butter rich sweets.
In addition, the main vitamins present in Parmesan cheese include vitamins B12, B6, D and E. Vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 are essential to the body and can help with weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise.
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin present only in full or low-fat foods and is essential for normal bone formation. Vitamin E is another fat soluble vitamin, which is essential to prevent heart diseases and certain kinds of cancer.
Serving Size: 2 tsps.
Nutrients per serving:
- Calories 25, of which calories from fat constitute 14 percent of Daily Value (DV)
- Total Fat 2g (2% DV) of which Saturated Fat1g (3% DV)
- Sodium 95mg(4% DV)
- Total Carbohydrate 0g (0% of DV)
- Dietary Fiber 0g (0% of DV)
- Protein: 2.5 g (5% of DV)
So, if you love Parmesan, enjoy its adequate flavor for your salads, pastas, sandwiches and get its essential health benefits.
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