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Monday, 08 August 2016 10:33

Cheese Please!

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Many dieters simply do not have much time to cook and prepare meals. As a result, they lean toward the grab and go things like cheese. While they are convenient they can be high in fat and still contain some carbs here and there.
Cheese must be chosen with care and thought, although it really is straightforward. What you are specifically looking for is cheese that has no more than three grams of fat per a single one ounce serving. Several things make it easy to recognize too. If the label says its 45-50 calories per one ounce serving you know that’s the upper limit in calories for an ounce of lean cheese/protein. This is all according to your first patient handbook guidelines. 
The good news is that this is really easy to see on a package with cheese. When serving sizes are listed as more than an ounce (usually with other protein sources) you might have to do more math (that’s why we gave you the What’s Really Lean? handout; make sure you have it from your clinic, it will define everything you need to know about choosing lean protein sources). 
Some cheeses are going to be a lot higher in calories and fat and should be avoided completely while in Step 1. Some good tasting low fat brand names are Weight Watcher Mozzarella sticks, Mini BabyBel Rounds, Light cheese (NOT the wedges), Cabot’s light cheese, Lifetime nonfat cheese. Some may not be available in your state. 
There are also the cheese slices although they are not always actual genuine cheese but are acceptable when consumed moderately if they meet the fat and protein criteria. Note it is not necessary to eat the fat free versions. The taste is inferior and the protein content is minimal for our program. (Carb count for most types of cheese is about 1-2 grams an ounce except for cottage cheese.)
Cottage cheese is acceptable with 2% milk fat, but carb values are considerably high by comparison to the harder cheese. A half cup serving is usually close to 100 calories and 4 carbs. Watch your carb intake if you enjoy cottage cheese regularly. (Reminder, total carbs for the day should not exceed 45 grams of carbohydrates.) Ricotta cheese is just too high in calories and fat to be on the program for weight loss unless it’s the fat free version but then you compromise taste. 
Bottom line when you use cheese on your program be careful when choosing it. It's more of a small fill-in snack or condiment rather than a big chunk of your protein allowance.
There’s also the issue of milk intolerance, in which case milk and dairy products should be avoided entirely. At this point weight loss may even be compromised when dairy products are consumed. 
Lastly, remember while dieting you may be low on calcium, magnesium and the trace nutrients you need for healthy bone integrity and numerous other important functions. Dairy products are high in these nutrients although fruits and vegetables contain them too. Remember you are only consuming 800-1000 calories on our plan, so you probably aren't getting enough.) Most people require at least 1000 mg of calcium, 500 mg of magnesium and 1000 mg of vitamin D on a daily basis along vitamin K, boron, etc. This applies to both older men and  most women so make sure you discuss this with your medical provider at your clinic.
"Age is of no importance unless you are a cheese.”-Billie Burke
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