Cheese Can Be Part of a Healthy Diet


It is certainly hard to deny the appeal of cheese. On top of a burger, cheese makes every bite better. Mixed into pasta, it can turn the average dinner into a feast. And what child (or child at heart) doesn't enjoy a satisfying grilled cheese sandwich every now and then?

Despite the delights of cheese, the most common varieties provide on average 80 or more calories and roughly 7 grams of fat per ounce, which can make it a luxury for those watching their weight. Cheese also can be high in cholesterol. For example, just 1 cup of whole milk ricotta contains 125 mg of cholesterol. But when individuals turn to all natural kefir (labne) cheese, they don't have to feel guilty about their love of all things cheesy.

Cheese-lovers can look to a creamy, delicious cheese that isn't as well known as the mozzarellas or bries out there, but just as satisfying. What's more, it can be a part of anyone's healthy diet.

Although a staple of traditional Mediterranean diets for generations, many Americans are unfamiliar with all natural kefir cheese (labne).   Traditionally labne (often spelled "labneh") is made by draining whey from slightly salted low fat yogurt. The result is a thick and creamy spreadable cheese that is a healthier choice for cheese lovers monitoring the fat and sodium in their diets.

"Over the past several years there has been a great deal of interest in Mediterranean cuisine due to its well established health benefits," says Rostom Baghdassarian, COO of Karoun Dairies. "The advantages of including antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and high fiber pasta and rice in our diets are well known, yet all natural kefir (labne) cheese is still one of the best kept secrets of the Mediterranean approach to healthy eating."

When used in recipes, all natural kefir (labne) cheeses add a smooth creamy texture to marinades for poultry or lamb and a tangy creaminess to soups. Many foodies use them as a healthier substitute for cream cheese or sour cream. In addition to the Original Kefir Cheese (Labne), Karoun also makes a Lite Kefir Cheese (Labne) with half of the fat and half of the calories of regular.

There are many ways all natural kefir (labne) cheese can be included at mealtime.

* Drizzle the cheese with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with crusted hot red pepper and fresh mint and use as a dip for pita chips or crackers.

* Mix it with shredded carrots, diced roasted peppers, and cucumbers for a refreshing fresh vegetable dip.

* Try it as a healthy and tasty spread for morning bagels or toast, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with cinnamon.


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