It is globally acknowledged that Cheddar is one of the most beloved types of cheese. It is created globally, particularly in nations such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Finland, Sweden, South Africa, Canada, etc.
This cheese first appeared in the village of Cheddar in Somerset, England back in the 12th century. The cheese is a natural one that has a hue of off-white and orange, and has a slightly pungent flavor.
Cheddar cheese is renowned all around the world, and it often comes to mind when thinking about tasty cheese-filled dishes such as pizzas with a cheesy crust, hamburgers loaded with cheddar, or grilled cheese sandwiches with gooey cheese melted inside.
The flavor of Cheddar cheese is regularly linked to satisfying the taste buds. However, little do people know about its health benefits.
Process of Making Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar is a natural cheese. It is created by taking apart the solid and liquid parts of strained milk. The subsequent step is ‘cheddaring,’ which involves warming the curd with salt. At last, the liquid leftover from processing milk is removed, and the cheese is cut into blocks.
Using cheddar cheese provides a natural benefit due to its being a genuine form of cheese. Processed cheese contains additional fats, components that lead to weight gain, coloring substances, substances that aid in blending, and preservatives, which can be damaging to one’s health.
The Production Process
Cheddar can be made either pasteurized or non-pasteurized. In the present day, it is unusual to find Cheddar cheese that has not been pasteurized. The cheese manufacturers will typically initiate the manufacturing process by warming the milk to a sufficient degree enough to eradicate any bacteria.
Afterward, bacteria known as starter cultures are introduced to the milk along with rennet, an ingredient that helps the milk to thicken. The rest of the liquid (whey) can be taken away from the cheese.
The cheesemakers cut the curds that have been allowed to settle into little cubes to make salting them simpler.
Besides making it taste better, salt also acts as a natural preservative and aids in the fermentation procedure. Adequate salt ensures that no pathogenic bacteria develop.
After the Cheddar chunks have been salted, they are shaped into large, thick pieces of cheese that can weigh as much as 20 kilograms. These varieties of cheese are then put in a vacuum wrapped package and put in boxes to let it age.
As previously discussed, this fermentation process can take anywhere from three months to more than a year and a half to complete. Nevertheless, occasional handmade Cheddar cheese can be kept for anywhere from five to even as many as ten years.
Types of Cheddar Cheese
The intensity and flavor of cheddar cheese are determined by how long it has been aged; the older it is, the stronger the taste. And also develop a grainy, crystalline texture. The following are some of the most popular types of aged cheddar cheese:
- Mild Cheddar: 2 to 3 months maturity
- Semi-mature Cheddar: 6 to 9 months maturity
- Extra Matured: 9 to 12 months maturity
- Vintage Cheddar: 12 to 24 months maturity
Nutritional Value of Cheddar Cheese
Cheddar cheese has a decent amount of protein. Therefore, consuming it can be a great choice for vegetarians when partnered with other foods.
In addition, cheddar cheese is an excellent source of calcium as well as containing a good amount of essential fatty acids. The remaining parts of the recipe encompass vitamin A, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B-12, vitamin K, and selenium. As per USDA, 100 grams of cheddar cheese contains:
- Calories: 409 kCal
- Protein: 23.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 2.44 g
- Fat: 29 g
Vitamins and Minerals
- Calcium: 707 mg
- Sodium: 654 mg
- Magnesium: 26.8 mg
- Phosphorus: 458 mg
- Potassium: 77 mg
- Zinc: 3.67 mg
- Selenium: 28.3 µg
- Vitamin B-6: 0.069 mg
- Vitamin B-12: 1.06 µg
- Vitamin A: 316 µg
- Vitamin K1: 2.4 µg
- Vitamin K2: 9.3 µg
Cheddar cheese made with whole milk contains a considerable amount of fat (29 grams for every 100 grams) and a high concentration of saturated fat (19.2 grams for every 100 grams).
Eating a diet high in saturated fats and trans fats can both lead to elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood and increase the danger of cardiovascular diseases. The accepted approach to nutrition has stated that eating a diet low in saturated fat may help to prevent cardiovascular issues.
Cheddar cheese is rich in protein, containing 23.3 grams for every 100 grams. Therefore, cheddar can significantly amplify your daily protein intake, as more than one third of its calories come from protein.
Per 100g, cheddar cheese provides 707 mg of calcium, making it an essential micronutrient. However, calcium isn’t the only nutrient found in cheddar.
In 100g of cheddar, there are substantial amounts of vitamin A, K2, B12, and phosphorus, as well as small amounts of zinc, selenium, and riboflavin. Additionally, cheddar has an exceedingly high amount of sodium (654 mg per 100g).
Health Benefits of Cheddar Cheese
Some of the health benefits include:
1. Increase Bone Density
Investigations have repeatedly demonstrated that consuming a diet which is rich in calcium can lead to strengthened bones and higher levels of mineralization. Cheddar cheese supplies an abundant amount of calcium and is readily accessible.
A single portion of 25 grams offers up to 170 mg of calcium, which is more than enough to meet the daily recommended amount of 1000 mg for anyone over eighteen years old.
Cheddar packs a hefty portion of calcium when measuring by weight. One hundred grams of cheese supply 72% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of the mineral. This is equivalent to 20% RDA in each ounce (28 grams) of cheese.
Calcium is a necessary nutrient important to the proper operation of our bones and muscles. Moreover, we primarily obtain calcium from two sources;
All dairy products, ranging from milk to cheese and yogurt, are a significant contributor of calcium.
Many plant-based foods, such as leafy greens, seeds, beans, and lentils, are high in calcium.
However, there is a large variation in the body’s ability to absorb calcium depending on the source. A factor contributing to this is that plant-based foods possess certain elements such as oxalate, phytate, and uronic acids which can hinder calcium absorption.
Cheese, which is a dairy product, does not contain any components that can stop calcium from being assimilated. Dairy products are the only fare that ensures that calcium is absorbed at its most advantageous rate, and Cheddar cheese is a superior provider of this essential mineral.
2. Prevents Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a state in which bones become fragile and fragile. Investigations have shown that calcium plays a significant role in helping to fend off osteoporosis. Sadly, people over the age of 50 are more prone to osteoporosis, and they should consume as much as 1200 mg of the substance every day.
This can solve this issue. In addition to calcium, it has substances like vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6, and manganese, which all contribute to bone health.
3. Helps Prevent Anemia
Cheddar cheese is an excellent source of vitamin B12. Many studies demonstrate conclusively that vitamin B12 is necessary to produce red blood cells, and it aids in the formation of our DNA and fatty acids.
Furthermore, vitamin B12 is a major nutrient typically found in animal food sources. Thus, cheddar cheese can be an excellent source of vitamin B12 for vegetarians. Nevertheless, a lack of vitamin B12 can be the cause of several problems, such as anemia, headache, and exhaustion.
4. Helps in Muscle/Weight Gain
Some folks have an accelerated rate of metabolism; they don’t gain weight easily. Sometimes, however, this strategy does not work out and leads to incorrect muscle growth, sparse muscle mass, weakened immune defense, and a low body mass index.
Cheddar cheese, having a high amount of calories, is an effective solution to this problem. You can get as much as 100 calories (equal to two apples) with one portion (25 grams) of this food.
Considering the feasibility and ability to be used in different situations is also a factor. You can easily increase the calories in any meal or snack by adding cheddar cheese.
5. Helps in Weight Loss
It might sound contradictory, but it isn’t! Studies have revealed that Cheddar cheese is packed with leucine, a type of branched-chain amino acid. Hence, it is considered a protein-dense food.
Additionally, research has shown that cheddar cheese is able to supply amino acids in an even, long-lasting manner. This cheese aids in constructing muscle and satiating hunger, leading to consuming less overall food in the long run.
Moreover, cheddar cheese can be beneficial for individuals on a keto or intermittent fasting diet by assisting with weight loss. Speak to a nutrition specialist to learn how to take advantage of cheese while still keeping an eye on your fat and salt intake.
6. Compatible with the Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet, commonly referred to as the keto diet, has had a huge impact in the field of physical health and well-being. Research has shown that following a ketogenic diet can be beneficial when it comes to shedding excess weight.
A diet with an abundance of fat, an adequate amount of protein, and few carbohydrates is utilized for slimming down and overall health. Protein and fats keep a person feeling full for an extended period of time. Without carbohydrates present, the body would resort to fat as a power source.
Research also showed that cheddar cheese has a lower glycemic rating than milk.
Consequently, it does not raise glucose amounts in the blood, making it an ideal food choice for the ketogenic diet. It is essential to bear in mind that keto is a particular dietary regimen; it is not obligatory for shedding weight.
7. Cheddar Provides an Excellent Source of Protein
Initially, it has been revealed that Cheddar cheese is a protein-heavy item and contains around 25% protein in terms of its weight. The majority of this protein in casein.
It is essential to understand that protein is absolutely vital for maintaining our wellbeing. We would be unable to survive if we did not have a source of protein since carbohydrates and fat alone will not provide enough energy.
Additionally, a higher protein intake brings two major advantages;
- Increasing our protein consumption is clinically proven to improve satiety and reduce food cravings.
- Higher protein intakes correspond to increased lean body mass, and increasing protein helps to preserve lean mass during weight loss .
Elderly individuals need ample amounts of protein, since the capacity to take up protein diminishes with age.
The decrease in age brings about a reduction in muscle-protein synthesis.
8. Nutrient Density
Even though Cheddar cheese isn’t as nutrient-rich as items such as vegetables, fish, and meats, it still demonstrates a relatively high level of nutrient density. The nutrient content of it is decent, and it includes a variety of minerals in considerable quantities.
Cheddar packs a nutritional punch containing vitamins A, B2, B12, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Cheddar isn’t only packed with vital micronutrients, but it is also an excellent way to get protein in your diet.
Cheese has greater nutritional value than items such as sugar, refined carbs, or butter.
9. Cheddar Is a Source of Fermented Dairy
In the past, people had a negative view of fat, but now we know that some fat is beneficial and some is not. Studies conducted both through systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials imply that there is no reason to be concerned about eating dairy fat.
It has been found in a number of investigations that full-fat dairy products have no impact – and possibly even provide protection – against some types of long-term illnesses.
- A systematic review of 18 studies found that cheese is inversely associated with stroke risk in Asian populations.
- High-quality evidence shows a clear reduced risk of hypertension as dairy intake increases. Additionally, the weight of the evidence suggests that fermented high-fat dairy has a favorable effect on stroke risk, with neutral effects for type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
- A systematic review of 52 clinical studies investigated how dairy consumption affected markers of inflammation. The data across all 52 studies strongly indicated dairy – including fermented dairy like cheese – had anti-inflammatory activity in subjects, except for the minority who had a milk allergy.
10. Cheddar is a Source of Probiotics
Cheddar cheese, having been left to age, contains probiotics; which are reportedly useful live microorganisms found in specific foods. Research indicates that these microorganisms can endure the long cheese production and maturing process.
Lately, we have come across much in the news related to the microbiome and the advantages of those helpful intestinal microbes. Is there any truth to it?
Honestly speaking, the field of microbiome research is still relatively new and a lot more studies need to be conducted. Initial research seems to indicate that there could be potential advantages.
Cheese contains probiotics that can fight bad bacteria in the intestines and help to keep the whole digestive system functioning properly.