U.S. Dairy Products > Cheese

Common Questions

Cheese is a nutrient-dense food because it provides a high concentration of nutrients relative to calorie content. It is an excellent source of calcium, which is a key nutrient for building strong bones and teeth, and preventing osteoporosis.

Cheese contains a high concentration of essential nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and high-quality protein. Certain cheeses, including cheddar, swiss, blue, Monterey Jack and process American, have been demonstrated to reduce the risk of dental caries.   Research has shown that a diet that includes three servings per day of dairy foods (such as lowfat and fat-free milk and yogurt, high and lowfat cheeses) as well as eight to 10 servings per day of fruits and vegetables reduces blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease, including lowering HDL-cholesterol and blood homocysteine levels.   New research also demonstrates that an energy-controlled diet rich in dairy products, including cheese in moderation, is associated with lower body weight as well as reduced risk of developing insulin resistance syndrome.

Individuals who are lactose intolerant can safely consume cheeses such as cheddar, Colby, Monterey Jack, mozzarella, parmesan and swiss, which contain little or no lactose.

Most cheeses made in the United States are made from pasteurized milk. If unpasteurized milk is used, government regulations require that the cheese must be aged for at least 60 days before it is sold.

Production of milk in the United States, whether organic or conventional, is subjected to stringent government standards. This ensures that the U.S. milk supply is safe, wholesome and nutritious. There is no known nutritional differences between organic and conventional milk therefore non-organic cheeses are as nutritious as their respective organic versions.