Health effects of processed cheese ingredients

March 3, 2023 People's Journal 269 views

SPREADABLE cheese, sliced cheese, string cheese, individually wrapped cheese, and spray cheese. These are just some of the weird and wonderful modern prepared cheese foods that make food taste delicious.

We know cheese is a “good source of calcium” and “made with real milk” and we think that consuming cheese products is healthy and alright.

Many manufacturers claim that their product is made from or with real cheese, which might be true, but the cheese base is considerably transformed by the time the processed product is complete. Processed cheese is essentially a cleverly engineered and mass produced product that is designed to taste good and perform well in the mass food market at a very low cost.

All these ingredients are mixed together and heated with an emulsifier, then poured into a mold and left to cool. This process can be highly mechanized to keep cost and human involvement low.

Many of the ingredients used in processed cheeses come with potential health risks. Read on.

* Vegetable oils. These oils are highly refined and oxidized, rendering them toxic and inflammatory. Vegetable oils of any type are best avoided, and particularly those that have been hydrogenated.

They are full of the fats that clog arteries and promote obesity.

* Sodium phosphate. This ingredient is used as an emulsifier in processed cheese products, but it is also used in pharmaceutical medications and comes with a warning for possible kidney damage.

* Potassium phosphate This is used as an emulsifier and preservative in processed cheeses, but also as a medication for kidney stones and to make urine more acidic. It may trigger allergic reactions.

* Tartrates. May cause diarrhea.

* Coloring agents. Yellow 6 and yellow tartrazine are banned by the European Union because they have been shown to promote tumor growth in animal studies.

* Trisodium phosphate. This emulsifier is the ingredient that makes sprayable cheese so smooth. The bad news is that trisodium phosphate is also used in cleaners and stain removers.

* Isolated and artificial vitamins. You may think it’s good that your cheese product has been fortified with a selection of vitamins, but these isolated forms cannot be absorbed properly by the body, and may even be toxic.

* Sodium and sugar. Processed foods contain pure sodium, which is a purified form of salt. Natural salts, on the other hand, contain other trace minerals, which make them more easily absorbed by the body. Sodium on its own can be dangerous in excess. Sugar is ubiquitous in our culture and should be reduced as aggressively as possible. Sugar is certainly never an ingredient in real natural cheeses.

Overall, processed cheese products are an unholy mess of chemicals and additives, one worse than the next. When so many things must be added to make it taste good, is it really worth eating? (EatingWell)