Why Eat Cheese?


Cheese has been part of the British diet for centuries. Virtually every household in the UK buys cheese and, according to a recent British Cheese Board survey, 31% of adult respondents said that cheese is their favourite food. Not only do we enjoy it, but it also helps toward the intake of a number of essential nutrients required for good health. From the same British Cheese Board survey, 66% of respondents believe that cheese is good for you because it contains calcium. Here are the facts:

  • Hard cheese is a source of calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong teeth and healthy bones.
  • A matchbox sized portion of Cheddar (30g) contains 222mg of calcium, just over 30% of the reference nutrient intake (RNI) for adults. A 15g portion of Cheddar cheese will provide just over 30% of the RNI for 1-3 year olds and 19% for 7-10 year olds.
  • Hard cheese is a source of protein, an important contributor to growth and development. A 25g portion of Cheddar provide 22% of the RNI for adults.
  • Cheese contains saturated fat. The government recommends for most individuals intake of saturated fat should be reduced so that it accounts for 11% of food calories. For that reason, the British Cheese Board recommends eating cheese in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet. Reduced-fat hard cheeses are available in most supermarkets.
  • Other key nutrients found in cheese include Vitamin B12 (which helps red blood cell formation, normal cell division and normal function of the immune system) and phosphorus, which helps maintain normal bones and teeth.
  • Cheese is a natural food source.
  • Cheese is so versatile that it can be enjoyed as it is, with a snack or incorporated into many different recipes - sweet and savoury.
  • Cheese is delicious and with over 700 named cheeses now being produced in the UK alone there is a wealth of new taste experiences to be enjoyed.
For more information on the nutrition benefits of eating cheese, download The Dairy Council's "Cheese, Salt and Nutrition Factsheet".