Cheese with diabetes mellitus type 1 and 2

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 06.09.2019

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Cheese products are a rich source of essential amino acids: methionine, tryptophan, lysine. The active ingredients of cheese have a positive effect on digestive function, regulate appetite [1] . Virtually the entire cheese composition is easily and completely absorbed by the human body, therefore this product is always advised to be used by children and women during pregnancy (with the exception of soft varieties such as Brie, Camembert, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Roquefort), [2] as well as patients with many diseases.. But is cheese allowed in diabetes? Will it not harm the pancreas and will not affect blood sugar levels?

Can I eat cheese with diabetes?

Cheese rightfully occupies one of the first places among the tasty and at the same time nutritious foods that make up the usual diet of each of us. And some studies claim that only two pieces of cheese a day can reduce the risk of diabetes. What is the use of the product? For example, 100 g of cheese contains the same amount of calcium as in one liter of homemade milk. Is it worth talking about the rich vitamin-trace element composition of cheese products?[3]

Hard cheeses speed up the recovery of the body after long-term infectious diseases or surgical interventions, improve the course of digestive processes, and have a positive effect on visual function. But, unfortunately, there are some negative points regarding the regular use of this product.

Doctors do not advise including cheese in the diet with a high level of cholesterol in the blood, with diseases of the kidneys and pancreas, with vascular pathologies. [4]

Patients with diabetes can safely eat a small amount of cheese, provided that they follow the rules of a balanced and healthy diet. The main thing - do not abuse cheeses and choose the right foods.

What kind of cheese is possible with diabetes?

Choosing cheese in diabetes, you need to pay attention to the following points:

  • Calorie.

Most often, calorie cheeses and contain a large percentage of fat. Of course, this does not apply absolutely to all cheeses: there are dietary varieties limited in calories and fat content. It is on them and should stop their choice.

  • Saturated fat content.

Saturated fats, getting into the body, add stress to the cardiovascular system, which is especially undesirable in diabetes. The lowest content of such fats in Philadelphia, Tofu, Tempe, Ricotta cheeses. Especially a lot of them in goat and cream cheese, as well as in varieties Roquefort, Colby, Cheshire.

  • Salt content.

In diabetes, it is recommended to eat no more than 2.3 g of salt per day. This is due to the ability of salt to increase pressure, increase stress on the heart, kidneys and blood vessels, inhibit the digestion of food. Cheese often contains a large percentage of salt, especially for processed cheese (the average for processed cheese is 1.2 g / 100 g).

In general, cheese has a relatively low glycemic index  [5]. This suggests that the glucose fraction is released gradually, without causing sudden surges in blood sugar. But we must bear in mind that cheese is almost never consumed by itself, but only in conjunction with other foods that can also affect glucose levels. Therefore, choosing products for diabetes should always be very careful.

Interesting, but the benefits of cheese in diabetes have been scientifically proven. So, in 2012, scientists analyzed the diet of healthy people and patients with diabetes. It was found that those participants in the experiment who ate 50-55 g of cheese every day (and this is just a couple of pieces) reduced the risk of diabetes in their bodies by 12%.[6]

In diabetes, it is undesirable to add processed cheeses to the diet, as well as cheeses in vacuum packs, smoked and salted varieties. In these products there is a large percentage of salt, and other components that do not belong to the category of healthy food may also be contained.

Such varieties of cheese in diabetes are more preferable:

  • Tofu cheese - soy cheese with fat content of 1.5-4%;
  • Goudette - low-fat cheese with a fat content of 7%;
  • low-fat cheeses Viola Polar, Fitness, Dietary, Diabetic, Grunlander, Children's with fat content from 5 to 10%;
  • Ricotta with fat content up to 13%;
  • low-fat cheeses of Philadelphia, Oltermani, Arla (about 16-17%).

The optimal daily amount of cheese for diabetes is 30 g. It is advisable not to eat the product as an independent meal, but add it to salads, sprinkle side dishes and main dishes. Tofu and fermented milk cheeses are especially recommended for consumption: Ricotta, Feta, Gouda.

Cream Cheese

Most often, processed cheese is a mixture of hard cheeses, oils, cottage cheese, milk powder, melting ingredients and spices. Such a product was created by chance by Swiss cheese-makers, but nowadays it is tightly included in our menu.

Melted cheese is certainly tasty, and even contains useful ingredients such as phosphorus and calcium. However, many nutritionists rank this product as harmful, and here's why. In addition to protein and some trace elements, melted cheese contains a lot of salt, retaining fluid in the tissues, as well as phosphates, leveling the beneficial effect of phosphorus and calcium. In addition, phosphates accelerate the excretion of calcium from the body and often become provocateurs of allergic processes.

Why doctors do not advise to eat cream cheese for diabetes? In addition to salt and phosphate, it contains citric acid, irritating the pancreas, which is extremely undesirable for diabetics.

Find high-quality processed product is quite difficult. The fact is that today, on the counters of the stores there are mainly “cheese curds” with a large number of various substitutes in the composition. For example, butter in them is replaced by vegetable analogues, and instead of hard cheeses, low-quality rennet is found.

Nutritionists warn patients with diabetes: if you want to try the cheese, it is better to give preference to solid quality varieties, and put the melted cheese aside.

Sausage Cheese

Sausage cheese is a type of processed cheese product. They are prepared on the basis of rennet cheese, cream, butter and cottage cheese share: as a rule, the composition is selected from substandard components.

Let's analyze the process of sausage cheese production. First, grind different-grade substandard cheeses, which are subsequently mixed and sent to a special melting pot. The resulting semi-liquid hot mixture is Packed in a form, and the residual finished product is packaged in a plastic or cellophane packaging and cooled. Many types of sausage cheese are additionally smoked: ideally, smoking is carried out at the final stage using sawdust. But this is not always done: often, manufacturers are limited to adding a special concentrated substance to the total curd mass, which gives the product a specific smoked flavor. Is it worth explaining that such cheese is unlikely to be useful for diabetes: poor-quality ingredients negatively affect the digestive system as a whole, irritate the mucous tissues of the stomach and duodenum, lead to a sharp increase in cholesterol, etc.

Given all the points, experts do not recommend the use of sausage cheeses for diabetes. When choosing cheese products, at least, you should read its composition. However, in diabetes, it is still desirable to completely abandon the processed and sausage variations of cheese.

Adygei cheese

The most delicate Adygei cheese to taste is popular with many: it belongs to the category of soft cheeses, which also includes feta cheese, feta, and mascarpone. The composition is represented by protein (up to about 25%) and fats (up to 20%), as well as lactose, milk sugars.

The composition of the Adyghe cheese makes it possible to attribute the product to the category of dietary dishes: it is easily digested, well digested, does not disturb the digestive processes, and is often recommended for use by elderly and weakened patients.

The benefits of Adyghe cheese in diabetes are invaluable. It is allowed to use in an amount not exceeding 100 grams per day. The product must be fresh and not too fat (optimally - up to 25%). It should be borne in mind that the shelf life in the refrigerator does not exceed five days.

The Adygei cheese is a tasty, healthy and affordable full-fledged dish: the price of a product is usually lower than that of most solid cheese varieties. With diabetes, it can be added to the diet without fear.

Cottage cheese

Natural curd cheese is usually prepared on the basis of quality ingredients - for example, from real yogurt, milk, cream, yeast and a small amount of salt.

Such a product in diabetes is not prohibited, and even recommended. However, choosing cheese, you need to pay attention to such moments:

  • if the packaging has a long shelf life (several months), this means that the curd cheese has been heat treated;
  • curd cheese may contain additional additives - for example, greens, pieces of mushrooms, pepper, starch, vegetable fats, etc.;
  • the fat content of cheese can vary depending on the composition.

In order for such cheese to benefit from diabetes, you need to choose options with a short shelf life, without additional flavorings and with a low percentage of fat (optimally - up to 25%).

What conclusions can be drawn from the above material? In diabetes types I and II, it is allowed to add to the diet young low-fat varieties of cheese, without additional additives and melting components. Such products do not particularly affect the increase in blood glucose levels: we are talking about Adygei, Tofu, Ricotta, Philadelphia, Children's cheeses, etc. A large percentage of calcium, phosphorus, B-group vitamins, and essential amino acids are present in the cheese. A few cheese slices will help add variety to the diet of the patient and not cause damage to health.[7], [8], [9]

If, however, there are doubts about the use of cheese in diabetes, it is not superfluous to consult an endocrinologist, because each case is individual.

It is important to know!

The diet for type 2 diabetes should ensure the maintenance of a stable level of glucose in the blood, as close as possible to normal rates. Read more..

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