Don't Say Cheese

Cheese is giving Americans a heart attack. Many people think of calcium-rich cheese as a "health food," but cheese doesn't deserve its healthy reputation. Though cheese has calcium, which can help people build strong bones, the calcium comes at too high a price. Cheese is the #1 source of saturated fat in the diets of American adults, and it's the second largest source of saturated fat in kid's diets (milk is #1). It's better to get your calcium from healthier sources like fat-free or 1% milk, low-fat yogurt, calcium-fortified orange juice, or broccoli.

Americans eat three times as much cheese today as they did thirty years ago. It seems like cheese is everywhere: on sandwiches, lean chicken, salads, nachos, potatoes, pizza, burgers, and French fries.

Try to eat no more than 2 ounces of full-fat cheese a week. An ounce is just 1 1/2 slices of American/processed cheese, a 1 1/4-inch cube of cheddar or other hard cheese, 2 slices (each about the size of a saltine cracker), or the cheese on a slice from a medium pizza. To cut back:

* Order your pizza with half the usual amount of cheese on it.

* Avoid cheese-stuffed-crust pizzas.

* Order sandwiches and burgers without cheese.

* Use lite or low-fat cheeses at home.

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