Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cheese Pleases

I faced a dilemma. Should I write about healthy eating or the magic of melted cheese? Background: I'm doing the president's challenge fitness program, which includes eight healthy eating goals. One goal, which I'm struggling with this week, is "I chose fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt, or cheese." I'm into week four of the program, which I'll discuss in greater detail in another post. For now, see:

"Fat-free cheese." Oh please. And low-fat cheese is not the answer either. Portion control (another presidential eating goal) will be important. But it's not enough. One of the requirements of the president's challenge is 30 minutes of daily exercise. Unfortunately, whenever I embark on a major exercise program, my appetite explodes. Sometimes I'm so hungry, particularly at night, I need more food than your average diet would allow. I need volume AND I need fat. Fat fills your belly and triggers that "I'm sated" sensation that tells us to stop eating.

So, I'm giving up beef for the time being in order to free up fat calories for cheese, and to preserve my right to super-size a few items. And I'm trying to get more of my protein calories from beans, fish, and low-fat milk and yogurt (2%). I'm not giving up beef forever. Perish that thought. I like vegetarian food, but sometimes you NEED a hamburger. No, I'm merely shaking things up.

I'll drink 1% milk, but never skim. And seriously is 2% fat dairy such a big deal? Two percent is still much less than the fat percentage of your standard cut of beef, right? Healthy eating is important, but pleasure is a worthy goal that merits daily attention, i.e., pleasure in non-negotiable.

So I do the math. Two percent Greek yogurt has 170 calories per cup, of which 40 comes from fat. So 2% translates into 24% of calories from fat. One percent milk has 100 calories, of which 20 are fat. So 1% = 20% of calories from fat. Yikes, that's some unexpected math. But still, it's only 20-40 calories. Let the fat remain.

Next post: Doing the Math for Cheese.

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