Here are 3 reasons why I love goat cheese
For some reason, through the years, I have never been a real lover of cheese made from cow’s milk. When I did eat cheese, however, I preferred goat cheese as opposed to cheeses made from cow’s milk. Later in life, after learning my specific body type and researching evidence-based sources, I realized I was highly sensitive to dairy. Turns out that my whole life, I have been lactose intolerant due to having digestive enzyme deficiencies of lipase (enzymes that break down fat) and lactase (enzymes that break down lactose). Because my digestive system failed to process cheeses made from cow’s milk, I gravitated towards goat cheese, which has less lactose.
And, would you know, goat cheese has earned a reputation as being one of the healthiest cheese choices there is. I love the tangy taste and crumbly texture, which can be added to burgers, salads, omelets, quesadillas and pizzas. As a registered dietitian, I recommend goat cheese to my clients because it provides healthy fats, it’s easier for many people to digest than cow’s milk cheeses, and it is even a bit lower in calories and fat than other cheeses.
Let’s take a look at three major benefits of choosing goat cheese and milk over cow products.
Goat cheese is a great source of protein and calcium.
More than 10,000 types of protein are housed in your muscles, tissues, bones, skin, and hair, so it’s important to maintain that protein to keep all parts of your body working properly. A serving of goat cheese is about one ounce, but that small amount packs a punch. It can be added to side dishes such as vegetables and salads to provide the much needed protein, feeding your muscles and keeping you strong.
Calcium is another important component to your overall structural health. It is essential for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. Unless your diet consists of a lot of green vegetables, nuts, and seafood, there’s a good chance you are lacking calcium. Dairy can provide both protein and calcium; that’s why as kids we were taught that dairy was one of the main food groups. What we have learned over the years is that goat’s milk and cheese can provide about a third of your daily calcium needs in just a serving or two. If you add Vitamin D to the mix (whether from natural sunlight or food sources), you can better stave off cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Goat cheese provides healthy fats.
While a serving of goat cheese contains about six grams of fat, don’t let that worry you too much. Goat cheese contains healthy fats (much like avocados) that play an important role in helping your body absorb nutrients, produce hormones, and protect your neurological health. You may ask why you should replace full-fat cow’s milk with full-fat goat’s milk, and that’s a fair question. The difference lies in the acids I mentioned earlier. The higher proportion of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) in goat’s milk helps support metabolism and is more easily digested, which is particularly good for those who are lactose intolerant.
In addition, these acids have properties that are antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory, so just imagine how that can help you! They fight off yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and even acne. You’ve probably heard that yogurt has similar qualities, which is why goat’s milk is sometimes referred to as “drinkable yogurt.” Pretty cool, right?
Goat cheese contains probiotics.
In recent years, we’ve been inundated with commercials and advertisements about promoting “good gut health.” Gut health refers to the way our bodies process food and the way we feel after we eat (satiated without feeling bloated, for example). Probiotics are created through a fermentation process, making cheese the perfect place for growth, and goat cheese in particular. Because aged, raw cheeses are more likely to have higher probiotic concentrations, goat cheese is a great option for aiding in gut health. It can enhance your immunity and even help with allergies, so even if you feel your digestion is under control, you may receive other benefits you couldn’t have imagined.
And let’s not forget the flavor. The tartness and body of goat cheese is often preferable to other cheeses that can taste either bland or, at the other end of the spectrum, too pungent. Goat cheese strikes a nice balance between the two. So enjoy this tasty treat and know that your body is thanking you!
Stay healthy, everyone! And please feel free to share this post or to add your own tips in the comments! If you are having a tough time managing your weight or you need help with your own personal meal plan catered to your goals and lifestyle, reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.