Contrary to popular belief, dietitians love food. That is why I was thrilled to host a cooking demonstration at the recent Atlanta Foodservice Expo.
We at the Southeast United Dairy Industry Association, Inc. love the opportunity to work with and educate chefs about dairy facts and dairy nutrition because they are on the frontlines of food. As chefs prepare meals, they often answer questions from patrons. To help chefs better answer those questions, we continue to educate them on dairy products.
Rachel Brandeis, one of our dairy advocates, presented a recipe for a crowd during our session titled, “Behold the Power of Cheese.” While demonstrating how easy it is to prepare Southern Pimiento Cheese, she shared some dairy nutrition tips about cheese, including:
- There is a cheese for everybody—you can find everything from premium to low-fat in the grocery store. And did you know natural cheeses like Cheddar or Swiss contain little to no lactose? That means that people with lactose intolerance can still enjoy all of the health benefits of cheese without an upset stomach.
- For those trying to get more protein in their diets, cheese is one way to do so. Just an ounce of cheese contains 7 grams of protein—that’s more than an egg! There is also a protein found in cheese called casein, which helps strengthen tooth enamel and decrease your risk of cavities. Fewer trips to the dentist is always a good thing in my book.
- One of my favorite things about cheese comes from a study that shows children eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains when paired with cheese. The protein and calcium found in cheese make it a win-win.
- If you want tangier food, you can substitute half the mayonnaise in recipes with plain Greek yogurt. In addition to a different flavor, the Greek yogurt adds a punch of protein (it has double the protein as regular yogurt) and probiotics, which promote digestive health.
Lanier Dabruzzi, MS, RD, LD