A Guide to Carbohydrates in Cheese

Carbohydrates in cheese are not the same as those found in other dairy products such as milk or yogurt. Cheese is a milk-based product, derived from pasteurized milk that is processed in a variety of ways, and made in wide varieties of styles, textures and flavours by coagulation of casein, the protein derived from the milk. It contains fat and proteins from milk, typically the milk of cow, goats, buffaloes, or sheep.

Cheese can be defined as a soft, semi-solid, creamy food derived from the milk of one or more mammals and available as a delicious treat for dessert or for other purposes. Cheeses are formed by the complete metabolic digestion of milk and its components during the production process. As the digestion is incomplete in some instances, proteins, fat and carbohydrates from the milk are left over, which are collectively known as whey. The digestion of whey is incomplete in all mammals, and this incomplete digestion gives rise to different types of cheeses.

In milk, the moisture is removed from the curds by rennet, and the curds are left behind as the concentrated milk fat. In cheese making, the curds are mixed with fat, which provides both the thickness and the taste of the cheese. The fat content varies according to the type of cheese, some being entirely fat and some containing a fair amount of saturated fat, which is called palmitate. The fat content is particularly high in goat cheese. It is absent in many other cheeses, and in fact, it is not considered necessary for the manufacture of such cheese.

Many people believe that cheese is an excellent source of nutrition, due to its high fat content and proteins. However, the fat and protein values in cheese do not reflect the same relationship with nutrition as they do with meat and dairy. A cheese may contain up to twenty times more calories than that of a chicken, yet may lack the necessary vitamins and minerals. Cheese contains no vitamins A, B12, or E and it is important to ensure that a child eats healthy cheese for good nutrition.

One can derive complete nutrition from the cheese only if it is combined with other food items. This combination provides a complete nutritional solution. For instance, wholemeal bread is a good source of carbohydrates in cheese, as the presence of whey in the bread provides the energy required to digest the cheese. Similarly, eggs are the best source of proteins in the cheese, because the protein value of the egg is similar to that of fish and beef. Other food items that can be included in the diet to obtain complete nutrition include pulses and lentils, and vegetables and fruits.

For carbohydrates in cheese, two tablespoons of butter will provide about forty-five grams of carbohydrates. Therefore, a tablespoon of butter contains approximately four teaspoons of carbohydrates. The quantity of fat in one tablespoon of butter is approximately one teaspoon of saturated fat. A standard American cup of soup will contain two tablespoons of fat and therefore approximately fifty-four grams of carbohydrates. Therefore, about twenty-one percent of the calories consumed in a standard American meal are from carbohydrates in cheese.

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