Processed cheeses are often high in sodium and saturated fat.
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Eating American cheese can have a negative effect on your body, especially if you eat it in excess. The favorite cheese for sandwiches and hamburgers has some ingredients that doctors and nutritionists prefer that you consume in moderation because they can affect your health.
Cheese is a good source of calcium and protein, and some fermented types contain probiotics. Although it can also be high in saturated fat and sodium.
Cheese that is popularly known as American cheese cannot really be classified as cheese, is a pasteurized processed cheese product. Each slice of this cheese product contains less than 51% curd.
The base cheese is combined with a mixture of whey, milk proteins, emulsifying salts, preservatives, and other flavor-enhancing additives. Which results in a brilliant, melt-friendly American “cheese”. These cheesy foods are shelf-stable products.
It can increase your blood pressure
American cheese is one of the foods that can raise your blood pressure. Among the cheeses that Cleveland Clinic recommends avoiding are processed and hard cheeses such as American, cheddar and muenster cheese; cheese spreads; cottage cheese and buttermilk. If you have high blood pressure, there are other cheese options you can enjoy.
Sodium along with fat is usually high in processed cheeses. There are 220 mg of sodium and 2 g of saturated fat in one slice (17g) of the Kraft Singles White American product.
High sodium intake can raise your blood pressure, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
How much sodium to consume per day?
The World Health Organization recommends consuming less than 2 grams of sodium a day, which is equivalent to 5 grams of salt. One teaspoon of salt equals 2,300 mg of sodium. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a Ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day for those with high blood pressure.
Cheese and saturated fat
Cheese is one of the largest sources of saturated fat in the American diet. Saturated fats tend to increase harmful LDL cholesterol, which can increase your risk of heart disease.
The AHA suggests choosing low-fat cheeses (with skim or low-fat milk with no more than 3 grams of fat per ounce and no more than 2 grams of saturated fat). One ounce of popular brand American cheese has 3g of saturated fat.
The Harvard Nutrition Source notes that a modest amount of cheese – real cheese – can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet. The way cheese is eaten can have different health effects.
Eating cheese with foods such as refined cereals (white pasta, bread, crackers, etc.) and processed meats can negate its benefits. It’s best to enjoy a small piece of cheese as a snack with fruit, whole grain crackers, or sprinkled on a salad.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.