Cheese, please!

Cheese, please!

Cheese is milk’s leap towards immortality.

Clifton Fadiman

Charles de Gaulle once asked how you can govern a country that has more than 246 varieties of cheese. He seemed to do alright. Cheese is not only a good source of protein, but it’s also excellent when you’re trying to keep blood glucose stable. Due to its high-fat content, it slows down the absorption of carbs when added to meals, and dosing insulin for protein is more predictable than injecting for carbs. It doesn’t have the same spike potential, so if you don’t take enough insulin for the protein you’ll see a slow and steady rise in blood glucose that can often be intercepted.

I don’t take insulin for fat, but I’ve seen people who dose at ten percent of what they dose for carbs. If you’re at a 1:10 carb ratio, which many type 1 diabetics are, you’d need 100g of fat for 1u of insulin. That’s a lot of fat, even if you’re eating cheese.

In addition to fat, many kinds of cheese are very high in protein, like Gouda, Cheddar, and Mozzarella, which all have around 25g of protein per 100g. Others, like Feta cheese, have a bit less but can still be considered good protein sources. It’s easy to make cheese the hero of your meal, with dishes like Greek salad or fried Camembert with grilled vegetables. I once worked in a Lebanese restaurant with deep-fried Halloumi and Tabbouleh that was to die for. These meals are also low-carb and diabetes-friendly.

Another interesting thing about cheese is that it gives us pleasure. It contains reasonable concentrations of casein, a dairy protein that’s broken down into casomorphins. These can cross the blood-brain barrier and trigger a release of dopamine, the neurotransmitter of our reward-system. In short, eating cheese nets us a lot of nutritious protein, keeps blood glucose in check, and satisfies our inner dopamine junkies. What’s not to like?

Image by PDPhotos from Pixabay


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