Lose weight healthily and still eat cheese!

The Good Life Letter

Friday 13th January  2012

  • Lose weight without exercise it really is this simple
  • Allow me to prove cheese really is Gouda for you...and accept that I've told the worst joke of the year! 

People who plan to lose weight naturally probably deny themselves of all the naughty foods they secretly love.

But did you know that our eating habits could be putting our lives at risk?

Of course you did, that’s why you choose to read the Good Life letter – but it constantly surprises me how this simple fact seems to grab the headlines.

A national diet which is poor in good wholesome foods, and dominated by cheap over produced convenience is going to cause problems.

We all know this.

Interestingly though, it looks like we aren’t always honest about what we do eat.

Earlier this week the Daily Telegraph said that each and every woman in the UK told 474 lies about their diet each year.

Saying that they eat their 5-a-day religiously was just tip of the iceberg it would seem.

The researchers say that chocolate, crisps, cake, wine, cheese and bread are among the foods most likely to be the subject of deception by women, in a survey of 3,000 people.

And before us chaps get too smug about this the results are no better for the boys either as shown by a US survey in 2008 where calorie intake was under reported by 11% on average. Again crisps, beer, cheese and food scraps were listed as the cause.

I have a problem with these reports though.

It’s not that I object to being caught out on my calorie counting... after all that’s to be expected.

No, my problem is with the fact that they are having a go at cheese again. And that’s just not on.

As far as I’m concerned the science bods are messing with the wrong stuff – let me explain.

The big stinking lies the food industry spin about cheese

As you know, refined sugars and carbohydrates are behind a lot of the obesity problems in the UK. People think that if they avoid 'fat' and eat plenty of white pasta, bread, cereal and white rice, they are somehow healthier. But these aren't. They spike your blood sugar levels, causing huge crashes and surges of hunger.

And who encourages everybody to cut out fat and cheeses... yet to UP their carbohydrate intake?

Yes, the food industry. Those advertisers just love to give cheese a bad rap, telling us to stay away from it and that it will lead to obesity and a whole heap of heart troubles.

They’re not interested in our wellbeing though, they’re just interested in shoving all these 'healthy' new cereals, breads and snack bars down our throats for a big wad of cash.

Think of it this way. If they urged people to eat natural, locally grown, fresh food, like grilled meat, vegetables, cheese and red wine... who would make the profits?

Farmers, market stall workers, vegetable growers. Non-branded, non-corporate organisations.

Certainly not the big boys of the food industry. Not the mega-profitable snack and cereal companies, that's for sure.

So LEAVE CHEESE ALONE is what I say. And for good reason:

• Cheese has a high concentration of essential nutrients, in particular high quality protein and calcium, as well as other nutrients such as phosphorus, zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin, and vitamin B12

• According to research from a few years ago, cheese provides 25% of the calcium available in the U.S. food supply, a six-fold increase from 4% in 1909. The same doubtless goes for the UK, too

• Because cheese is a calcium-rich food, it may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis

• Certain cheeses such as cheddar have been shown to reduce the risk of dental problems. Eating cheese may help reduce cavities. See, when you eat food, the pH in your mouth often drops. This makes your mouth more acidic, which can damage your teeth. But eating cheese maintains your pH level

This is why some health professionals recommend eating cheese immediately after meals, or as a between meal snack.

• Research also suggests a small portion of organic cheese can provide up to 88% of the recommended daily intake of Omega-3 fatty acids

For me there’s nothing better than rounding a meal off with a bit of stilton, a stick of celery and a dollop of onion relish.

Where’s the harm in that?

Ready, steady… steal cheese!

Having produced my own cookbook I like to keep an eye on those who make a living from food.

[Haven’t got your copy yet, buy it here]

Well it seems a certain Mr Worrall-Thompson likes his cheese too, but doesn’t always remember to pay for it…

Bless him, after seeing several of his business ventures fail recently he has been nicked for stealing wine and cheese from Tesco’s. Now, I understand the need, but surely you could have chosen better stuff Anthony!

*Warning joke in bad taste approaching* If you have to steal cheese make sure you do it Caerphilly... sorry couldn’t resist that one!

For the rest of us looking out for a piece of something nice to round off the meal might I suggest seeking out your local farmers market for something with a special finish.

Around me I love a little Cornish Yarg which is finished by wrapping in nettle leaves giving it a wonderful mushroomy finish... there is even a wild garlic version – need I say more.

Now if you’re not too adventurous with your cheeses, you might think they only come in two varieties – the kind that comes in little silver triangles or the kind that are wrapped up like little red waxy quality streets.

If this sounds like you, you really are missing out since the range of cheese out there on the market today is astounding and well worth a nibble.

In England alone we’ve got Devon Blue, Wensleydale, Appledore and Stinking Bishop just to name a few. My mouth’s watering just imagining crumbling them over some crackers with a crisp bit of celery... enough said methinks!

Make sure you read Sunday’s letter as I have some great news about a sadly departed old friend – Artrosilium. 

Yours, as always






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