Advertisement
Goat cheese is derived from the milk of a goat and is available in several types such as hard, soft, raw, semi-ripened, and blue-veined cheese. Commonly used in its soft, fresh, and creamy form which is not too time-consuming to make, you may have tasted it on your pizzas, pasta, dips, salads, and appetizers. Its taste as well as the percentage of fat in it depends on the diet, level of hormones, their composition and the breed of the goats used to produce it. Goat cheese is savory and has a distinct tangy flavor to it. It is best enjoyed with white wine, but it can also be paired with beer. Also called the chevre, which means 'goat' in French, goat cheese is white due to the absence of carotene in it. If sold in any other color, it means that coloring agents have been added to it. A slight off-taste or patches on the cheese indicates that it is not fresh and must be discarded.

How Healthy is Goat Cheese?

Makes Bones Stronger
Cheese is a good source of much-needed calcium. Hard goat cheese contains 895 mg calcium and 729 mg phosphorus per 100 g. Both of these minerals are essential for building stronger bones and increasing cortical bone mass. According to a study conducted by the University of Granada (Spain), this cheese helps prevent diseases like osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and others that cause bone loss. Vitamin D, abundantly present in hard chevre, also contributes to this health benefit. Furthermore, the bacteria found in the cheese aid in the metabolism of calcium, iron, and vitamin B from the food.

Low in Cholesterol and Sodium
This is a good news for those suffering from cardiac problems and diabetes. Soft goat cheese contains a negligible amount of cholesterol which is 13 mg per ounce. Also, the presence of low sodium makes it suitable for patients with a high cholesterol problem. Also, goat's cheese contains more selenium than its counterparts derived from cow-milk. Selenium is an antioxidant that is important for the oxidation process in the body to provide energy and also for the risk-reduction of several types of cardiac problems as well as the incidence of cancer.

Low Fat, Lesser Calories
If you are concerned about being unfaithful to your diet due to the fat found in goat's milk, let me get rid of some of your worries. Goat milk cheese is easily digestible as compared to cheese derived from cow's milk as it is thinner and high in saturated fats which are healthy for the body. In fact, if you want to bust your belly fat, replace your evening snack with an ounce of goat cheese. Isn't it a slimming dietary choice? And, you don't have to worry anymore because most lactose intolerant people have reported no side-effects.

Fighting Infections Down There
Here is an interesting piece of information especially for young adults, having this cheese will reduce the incidences of embarrassing sexual diseases like vaginitis and candidiasis. The bacteria present in this cheese is very good for the body's overall health. They support the good bacteria present in the body and help maintain their balance. These bacteria are necessary to strengthen the body's immune system and prevent attacks that cause such diseases. Did you know that 75% American women have suffered from yeast infection at least once in their lifetime and 12% to 15% adult American men have been infected from such sexual partners. Goat milk's cheese also helps reduce premenstrual pain.

GOAT CHEESE : NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION**
Variety Cholesterol Calories Fat
Saturated Fat Unsaturated Fat
Soft 13 mg 76 4.1 g 1.5 g
Semi-soft 22 mg 103 5.85 g 2.1 g
Hard 30 mg 128 6.97 g 2.54 g
All figures given as according to per ounce
**USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24 (2011)

Promotes Metabolism
Do you believe that cheese can help increase the metabolism level in your body? Well, you should! It is not only low in fat, but also contains high levels of protein which help elevate the metabolism level and burn fat faster. Eating an ounce will supplement your body with as much as 8.65 g of protein. Sounds like a great post-workout snack.

Prevents Diseases
Goat milk's cheese is made of several essential minerals like copper, potassium, magnesium as well as vitamins like B2, B3, B6 and D. These help fight diseases like eczema, allergies, anemia, arteriosclerosis, respiratory, and gastrointestinal disorders. It also provides relief in migraine attacks. Goat cheese fights carcinogens and resists their multiplication in the body, thus, preventing and reducing the risk of different types of cancers. Did you know? Cheese is known for preventing tooth decay and bad breath. Other health benefits include blood pressure stabilization and regulation of cellular, nerve and muscle activities.

The Healthy Substitute to Cow's Milk

The milk being sold to us today comes from cows that are heavily injected with growth hormones during continuous periods of pregnancy. Cow's milk is often admonished by health experts as an instigator of acne, polycystic ovaries, infertility, cancer, allergies, and gastrointestinal problems as it causes severe imbalance in the hormonal levels of human beings, along with the presence of bacteria and virus in cow's milk and milk products. It has been speculated that the presence of high doses of casein in cow's milk is responsible for the incidence of these health problems. Interestingly, casein present in goat's milk closely resembles that found in human milk, making its chemical composition very similar to that of human milk. Also, the presence of oligosaccharides, an anti-inflammatory compound, makes it friendly for the human digestive system. Hence, it is less likely to play havoc with your hormones and is a safe replacement to cow's milk without having to completely forgo of dairy products. Most people, who are otherwise allergic to cow's milk, show less or no signs of intolerance to goat's milk cheese. This is perhaps due to the presence of less lactose as compared to cow's milk. In fact, goats are seldom given growth hormones as compared to cows to produce more milk. This makes goat milk cheese an absolutely healthy choice of dairy.

Please Note: If you are allergic to cow's milk, chances are that you may or may not be intolerant towards the protein found in all types of animal milk. Even though your body may be capable of easily digesting goat's milk without any potential side-effects, it is recommended that you consult an allergist before including goat's cheese in your diet.