In the search to find foods which will not spike blood glucose, there are a number of people debating if diabetics should be eating cheese, and if yes, what kind of cheese should diabetics be eating? Today’s article will answer the question “Is cheese good for diabetics?”
Let me begin where there are a lot of concerns, with the intention of putting a certain myth to rest. For years we were told that fat is bad for us. Now we see people losing weight and claiming to be in their best health now on diets that are loaded with fats.
I will mention the keto diet at this point. I eat keto for a few days of the month, so I cannot claim that I am on a keto diet, but one thing is for sure, it has some merits in terms of kick-starting weight loss and helping us to be healthier.
My problem with keto is that for some reason my body gets a bit whacky when I am not eating a wider variety of fruits and ultimately some more carbohydrate. For this reason, a low carb diet seems to work best for me.
I do not believe in a “one size fits all,” and if you see how well endowed I am, you will understand my thinking. We are all uniquely created and our lifestyle adds to this difference between us and the person next door.
I also love to self-experiment, yes, please continue to pray for me, but, I figure that sometimes doctors are also doing trial and error, so, what the heck? Pardon the strong language here, but, I am lost for words. Truth be told, this way of writing makes you understand how strongly I feel on the topic of trial and errors as it relates to any living being.
But, let us be fair to our doctors and others in the medical world. They know more than us about medicine, but we know how our bodies are reacting to the medicines and foods we eat. With that said, I thank God for doctors and medicine, but I also thank Him for my brain and the ability to help myself in the process.
After all this rambling, the point I am finally making is that fats are not necessarily bad for us. Read some more here about healthy fats for human beings to consume.
The Fat Content of Cheese: Bad News for Blood Glucose?
Yes, cheese, in general, has a high-fat content, and as a result, we have been taught that we should “go easy with the cheese.” Of course, the fat content is dependent on the type of cheese we are eating.
We will take a brief look at a few types of cheese;
- Feta has 4g of fat, 1g of carbs, 5g of protein, 60mg calcium, 360mg sodium, and 60 calories per ounce.
- Brie has 9g of fat, 1g of carbs, 5g of protein, 150mg calcium, 170mg sodium, and 100 calories per ounce.
- Mozzarella has 6g of fat, 1g of carbs, 6g of protein, 143mg calcium, 138mg sodium, and 85 calories per ounce.
- Swiss has 9g of fat, 1g of carbs, 5g of protein, 150mg calcium, 170mg sodium, and 100 calories per ounce.
- Gouda has 9g of fat, 1g of carbs, 7g of protein, 200mg calcium, 200mg sodium, and 110 calories per ounce.
- Cheddar has 10g of fat, 1g of carbs, 7g of protein, 200mg calcium, 190mg sodium, and 120 calories per ounce.
Please see the infographic below with the above information.
Please note the harder the cheese is, the greater the sodium content, as more salt is used for the cheese to age. This would be a word of caution for especially those with high blood pressure.
Allow me to share some information from a study. Please continue to read.
Study From the University of Alberta
The first thing I need to point out is that this study was funded by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. Yes, I will pause here for my critics to have their say. Hmmm, yes, milk makes cheese…hmmm, the Dairy Farmers of Canada funded this research. Okay, let’s be objective in looking at the study. Promise?
I thank you for that overwhelming “YES.” This research was done on pre-diabetic rats. Yes, rats. They were fed low fat as well as regular cheese. Guess what? The blood sugar of both groups saw some improvement. Okay, so I see you running for the cheddar cheese now, but, please remember the salt content of the harder cheese. Okay?
They stated then insulin levels were stabilized, but, they were not sure how this happened. Yes, they will need to do more research. The cheese significantly improved the effects of insulin.
A Bit of Rambling – My Experience
For me, the above comes as no surprise. When I was diagnosed with diabetes, there are three (3) things I was prepared to continue consuming: 1) coffee, 2) eggs, and 3) cheese. Yes, and it would probably appear to you like I am always seeing the researches which say they are okay to consume.
Not true though. I see the research which says coffee is not good to have and that eggs and cheese will cause cholesterol issues. Well, here is something for you to think about. I no longer need cholesterol medication and I have never stopped eating eggs and cheese.
To be honest, I consumed more of these two (2) foods once I decided to go low carbs. My doctor once told me that his wife, who is a Cuban eats a lot of eggs on a daily basis and her cholesterol is just fine.
Here is where I see a problem for me, once I start consuming “junk” food (highly processed foods), all kinds of things starts happening. Yes, I start feeling tendonitis pain, back pain, headache, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and not to mention the horrific weight gain and sluggish feeling.
Some More Notes from the University of Alberta Study
The interesting thing was that both regular cheese and her low-fat counterpart (which I simply refuse to eat) had the same effect of stabilizing insulin levels. Let me explain this using my experience and words, “whenever I eat cheese, my blood sugar does not spike.”
Yes, and the same thing happens when I consume eggs, but, that’s a different paper. Oh, you can read that article here. Just click the word EGGS.
Chan from the research said that some people find low-fat cheese unappealing. Okay, so Chan was talking about me here. But guess what, according to Chan, “Cheese has lots of nutrients, and if you cut it out of your diet, what are you going to replace it with?” (Betkowski, 2019).
Oh, come on! I love cheese, but you and I know that there are a lot of other proteins and fats that we can and do consume. There is no need for drama. With that said, yes, I will continue to eat cheese, but I also know that there are other foods I could consume if there was no cheese left in the world. Right?
Yes, Chan had more to say and rightly so, as research was done. According to Betkowski (2019), it was also stated that she (Chan) supported other research that claimed that cheese did not increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. This is comforting. Are you comforted by this finding? Please, comment in the box below.
Please note that according to Betkowski (2019),
[“The key to good health is to have a diversity of good food, and cheese has a place in the diet of most people. Like grandma says, everything in moderation. If I love cheese, I would not cut it out of my diet,” said Chan.]
I am in agreement with Chan and grandma, everything in moderation. The key is to not overeat any one food and to have a diet rich in different foods from a variety of groups, boasting an array of colors, whilst we keep an eye open for further research to close the gaps.
Cheese will not give that horrible spike in blood glucose levels like other foods loaded with carbohydrate. It is, however, a food well endowed with fat, but the good news is that research has discovered that cheese is not only diabetic-friendly, but it will also not result in cardiovascular concerns.
Let’s continue the fight to rid our lives of diabetes and other lifestyle illnesses.
- Betkowski, Bev. “Cheese May Help Control Blood Sugar.” Medical Xpress – Medical Research Advances and Health News, Medical Xpress, 4 Apr. 2019, medicalxpress.com/news/2019-04-cheese-blood-sugar.html.
- Schaefer, Anna. “Is Cheese Bad for You? Benefits, Risks, Nutrition Facts.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 2018, www.healthline.com/health/is-cheese-bad-for-you#nutrition-facts.