Is Cheese Good or Bad for Diabetics?

When you are a diabetic, you need to be very careful as to what you should include and what you should avoid eating. Contrary to the popular belief, it turns out that there could be a few advantages that a diabetic patient can get if he or she eats the right type and the right quantity of cheese.

In this article, we shall analyze the relationship between our all-time favorite snack cheese & diabetes and will also try to find out the answer to the question “Is cheese safe for people with diabetes?“.

Risks Associated with Eating Cheese in Diabetes

If you are diabetic, you should avoid eating cheese because of the following reasons:

  • It is not an unknown fact that the fat and calorie content of some varieties of cheese is really high. Hence, your chances of putting on weight are really high when you include cheese in your diet. This, in turn, helps management of diabetes really difficult.
  • Salt is known to increase the levels of blood pressure in a person who has diabetes. Cheese, particularly processed cheese varieties have large amounts of salt in them. As per a study conducted in 2011, per 100 grams of processed cheese has almost 1,242 milligrams of salt. According to a few experts, the recommended quantity of salt for a diabetes patient in one day is around 2300 milligrams. Hence, anything beyond that will increase your blood pressure levels to a great extent causing various diabetic complications.
  • Although some amount of saturated fat can be healthy for your body, cheese contains very high amount of these types of fat. It is something that is not considered healthy for someone who has diabetes. It can be a source of heart-related conditions, bad cholesterol, as well as gaining weight.

Thus, cheese should be avoided to the extent possible. However, on the positive side, there are a few benefits that consuming cheese can offer to those with diabetes.

Cheese for Diabetics

Benefits of Eating Cheese in Diabetes

Not everything is bad with eating cheese. The following are some of the benefits that cheese has to offer:

  • Cheese is known to release glucose slowly when consumed. This means that you will not have a sudden rise in your blood glucose levels when you eat it. The reason for all this is the low glycemic index of cheese.
  • Cheese is also known to be a rich source of sodium. Hence, it goes a long way in helping you feel full for a long period of time. This can further help you manage weight which is so important if you want to manage diabetes effectively.

However, in order to benefit from cheese, you need to know what is the right variety of cheese that you should have.

The Best Cheese for Diabetics

If you do want to include cheese in your diabetic meal plan, you will need to choose the right variety of the same. The following will help you choose the right type of cheese for you if you have diabetes:

  • You should avoid cheese varieties that have been processed. The reason being the high salt content of these varieties. As such, you should avoid eating feta, edam, and other varieties. You can instead choose mozzarella, cream cheese, Emmental, low sodium cottage cheese, amongst a few others.
  • You should go for all those cheese varieties that have high sodium and high calcium content. For example:
  • Parmesan is a type of cheese that has good amount of protein
  • Neufchatel can be a low-fat variety of cream cheese
  • There are a few cheese types that are a great source of good bacteria type and includes feta, gouda, ricotta, cheddar, amongst others.
  • Provolone is known to be a great source of calcium and some amount is highly recommended.

Having seen the above best cheese recommendations, you should not forget that there are a few guidelines that should be kept in mind even while consuming these varieties. The following are some of the most important considerations.

Guidelines to Follow

Keep in mind the following guidelines when you are including cheese in your diet:

  • Do not go overboard with the consumption of cheese. This holds true even if you are consuming the above-mentioned best varieties of cheese for the diabetes patients. In most of the cases, it is advised to not eat beyond 1 Oz by weight which translates to roughly a couple of slices of cheese.
  • While consuming cheese, make it a part of your overall diet plan. Also, include other food items along with cheese. Make sure you are aware of the ingredients that are present in the cheese variety that you are consuming and make sure to not eat beyond the recommended daily intake.
  • Be mindful what you eat along with cheese. For example, if you are eating cheese along with honey, fruit, and crackers, you will have problem in controlling your levels of blood glucose to a large extent.
  • Always consult your doctor before including cheese in your diet.

We hope that the above article has been helpful in educating you about the relationship that exists between cheese and diabetes and how should you include the right type of cheese in your regular diabetic diet. Not all cheese is harmful if consumed in the recommended quantity and if all the above-mentioned guidelines are followed. Like in the case of another type of food items, you definitely will need to take an advice of your medical expert!!

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