About Cheese / Cheese & Nutrition

Cheese & Nutrition

Cheese contains a high concentration of essential nutrients, in particular high quality protein and calcium, as well as other nutrients such as phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin, and vitamin B12. Here you will find wealth of information about the nutritional benefits of cheese and how it can be part of your veryday, balanced diet. 

Nutrient profile & recommendations

Cheese contains the goodness of a number of essential nutrients, including protein, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B12. 

According to the 1995 National Nutrition Survey, dairy foods are the richest source of calcium in the Australian diet, providing over 50% of the total calcium in an adult's diet and over 60% for children - cheese alone accounts for nearly one-fifth of this (approximately 18%).

The recently released Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand recommend 1000mg of calcium per day for adults (19-50 years). This can be achieved with 3-4 serves of dairy per day, whereby a serve of dairy is equal to:
- 1 cup milk (250mL)
- 2 slices of cheese (40g)
- 1 tub yogurt (200g).

Therefore, cheese can help meet the recommended daily intake of dairy foods and calcium. It's easy! So enjoy your cheese and smile with confidence!

Good news for those who are allergic to lacto

Lactose is a carbohydrate naturally found in milk and milk products. It is broken down and digested by the body by an enzyme called lactase. Some people who do not produce enough lactase may have trouble digesting lactose, and for some, it may also cause unpleasant gut symptoms.

Although cheese is made from milk, it has a low lactose content compared to other dairy foods, and can generally be enjoyed by people that have concerns with lactose digestion. 

During the cheese making process, the whey component of milk is removed. This is where most of the lactose content of milk is found. Cheeses such as Cheddar and Swiss-styles undergo a further process called ripening, giving the cheeses their unique flavor, texture and appearance. During the ripening phase, any remaining lactose is often converted into lactic acid and other products, so little or no lactose is left in the cheese. Sometimes optional ingredients such as non-fat milk and cheese whey may be added, and this can increase the amount of lactose found in cheese. Fresh cheeses such as creamed cottage cheese and mascarpone contain higher levels of lactose. However, most varieties of cheese are low in lactose and are generally well tolerated. 

A balanced diet

So having cheese in moderation as a snack or part of a meal can: -help you reach your daily serves of dairy for calcium to look after your bones. -keep you -smiling and know you are helping your teeth stay in tip-top shape -be satisfying and filling to help you reach or maintain your ideal weight 

Remember to follow a balanced diet and combine this with physical activity on most days of the week. This can also help in maintaining an ideal body weight. 

For further information in this area, please consult your General Practitioner or an Accredited Practicing Dietitian.