In this brief article we will answer the query,” Is cream cheese healthy?” We will explain what cream cheese is and look at its nutritional profile. We will also discuss the health benefits of cream cheese.
Is cream cheese healthy?
Yes, cream cheese is healthy. A 1 ounce portion contains about 99 calories, 1.74 grams of protein and 9.75 grams of fats. It also has health benefits such as supply of antioxidants, probiotic effects. It is low in lactose and is a good source of Vitamin A.
What is cream cheese?
Cream cheese is a soft and smooth type of cheese which is unripened. It is made with cream or a combination of milk and cream. It has a smooth consistency and is good as a spread in crackers, bread and bagels.
It almost has a white color and comes with a mild but rich taste. It is quite similar to cottage cheese but has a higher fat content because cottage cheese is produced from skim or nonfat milk.
What is the nutritional profile of cream cheese?
The nutritional profile of cream cheese is largely dependent on the product and brands. Cream cheese can be in different forms such as regular, double-cream, whipped and flavored. A 28 grams serving which is equivalent to 1 ounce can typically provide the below nutritional content:
- Calories: 99
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 10 grams
- Carbohydrates: 2 grams
- Dietary fiber: 0 grams
- Vitamin A: 10 percent of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI)
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 5 percent of the RDI
What are the health benefits of Cream cheese?
It is a good source of vitamin A
Cream cheese is a good source of Vitamin A. As evident in the nutritional profile 28 grams of cream cheese can typically provide 87 mg of Vitamin A which is 10 percent of the RDI. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential for functions such as immune function, fetal development, cell growth and normal vision.
Vitamin A also helps protect tissues such as the lungs, skin and intestines.
It is a good source of antioxidants
Cream cheese is a good source of a variety of antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative damage by neutralizing free radicals. Presence of a lot of free radicals in your body can result in cellular damage.
Cream contains decent amounts of carotenoid antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin which are good for eye health.
It may have probiotic effects
Cream cheese is usually made using starter culture from lactic acid bacteria (LAB) Some strains of the LAB are probiotic bacteria which are generally good for the gut as they offer health benefits.
For instance, some Lactobacillus species boost your immune system by reducing any inflammatory response and other probiotic bacteria boost the immune system when exposed to an infection.
During production of cheese, the milk may be heat treated through pasteurization which can destroy the probiotic bacteria. You should therefore ensure that you look for cheese with labels that read “live and active culture” which means that the product contains live probiotics.
Low in lactose
Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurts usually contain lactose which is a type of sugar. Some people are not able to digest lactose in a condition known as lactose intolerance. If such people take dairy products with lactose they may experience symptoms such as:
- Stomach rumbling
- Bloated stomach
- Stomach pains and cramps
- Feeling sick
People with lactose intolerance should steer clear of dairy products. Research has shown that lactose intolerant people can still tolerate small amounts of lactose upto 12 grams in a meal.
Cream cheese contains less than 2 grams of lactose in a 28 grams serving thus lactose intolerant people can enjoy it without any side effects.
You can learn how to make some cream cheese by clicking here.
In this brief article we have answered the query,” Is cream cheese healthy?” We have explained what cream cheese is and looked at its nutritional profile. We have also discussed the health benefits of cream cheese.