Lane Cove Local Nutrionist Wendy Middleton – What you need to know about cheese….

I don’t like the way some foods are demonised. It’s just not as black and white as that. Cheese is one that often gets put in the ‘bad’ books so I thought I’d share some cheese facts.

To start off cheese should only contain four ingredients.


  • Full fat milk.

I don’t recommend cheese made with skim milk. When fat is removed from milk the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2 are also removed.

  • Rennet (you may see this listed as enzymes)
  • Cultures
  • Salt


  • Preservatives.
  • Additives such as gums, anti-caking agents and stabilisers. These additives are potentially irritating to the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Flavours. I recently came across a cheese that listed ‘cheese flavour’ as one of it’s ingredients!


These cheeses are highly processed and often contain additives. In particular they will contain gums and anti-caking agents/stabilisers.

  • You can use a wide vegetable peeler to cut slices. I have a lovely old wooden handled cheese slicer that was my mother’s that is a joy to use.
  • To grate softer cheese, such as mozzarella, pop the cheese in the freezer for 20–30 minutes and it will be easier to grate.
  • Use a food processor to grate a block of cheddar cheese and then store in the freezer.
  • A Thermomix grates parmesan really well. Or you you can purchase a parmesan disk for food processors. Then freeze your parmesan for a later date.

Tip – Buy whole cheeses rather than sliced or grated cheeses. It’s better for you and better value.


  • Generally aged cheeses have only trace elements or very small amounts of lactose. Examples are cheddar, parmesan, brie and blue cheese.
  • Cheeses such as ricotta and cottage cheese, are higher in lactose.
  • Most people can manage a lactose intolerance rather than having to avoid lactose completely. (Of course there are exceptions where a person is highly sensitive to even small amounts of lactose)

You can find more detail on lactose intolerance in a previous blog “Do You Have Trouble Digesting Dairy”

Hard Goat’s Cheese


  • Hard Goat’s Cheese

A more mellow flavour than soft goat’s cheese and not as tangy.

Cheese made from goat’s milk comprises A2 beta-casein, which can make it easier to digest than cheese made with cow’s milk. Hard goat’s cheese also has higher amounts of calcium and protein than most other cheeses.

  • Parmesan

Break into chunks on your cheese board. Important that you serve at room temperature rather than straight from the fridge to allow the flavours to be released.

Parmesan has the highest amount of protein and calcium of all the cheeses and is on the lower end of fat content. Get sprinkling on your bolognese and add to your frittatas!

  • Gouda

Mild, slightly nutty flavour with a touch of sweetness. Also has a bit of a creamy, springy texture.

Gouda is a good source of Vitamin K2, which is required to draw calcium into our bones and teeth. It also has similar nutrient content to cheddar however is lower in fat.

Tip – Serve cheese with nuts, olives, pear or apple slices to avoid over indulging.

Do you have trouble digesting dairy?

There are two compounds in dairy that may be causing this, lactose and milk proteins. It’s really important to establish which of these are the trigger for your symptoms as you may not need to remove all dairy.  It’s worthwhile seeking the advice of a professional to determine this, as well as to ensure you’re reaching your recommended daily intake of calcium. Please reach out if you’d like any help with this.

Wendy offers nutrition consultations. To book go to A Cut Above Nutrition.

Wendy Middleton
Caterer and Nutritionist
Adv Dip Nut Med, ATMS 50532
Phone: 0403 861 117
Email:  [email protected]
Facebook: @acutabovenutriton
Instagram: @acutabovenutriton

A Cut Above Catering and A Cut Above Nutrition are ITC Business Supporters. ITC has known Wendy for a long time and has been at many functions she has catered. We always enjoy watching Wendy share her healthy love of food.