In today’s modern and time-crunched World, it is often difficult to find the time or energy to incorporate healthy eating into your busy lifestyle. When it comes to snacks and quick bites on-the-go, this can be even more challenging, as there is so much convenient and processed junk to choose from. The good news is that nutritious and delicious foods do not have to be intimidating, costly, or time consuming. Here, we will review one of the very best in this category, string cheese.
What Is String Cheese?
String cheese is a well-known, popular, and appealing snack that was first invented by Frank Baker and Jeb Cubbs in 1976. The majority of the time, it is comprised solely of mozzarella cheese or a combination of mozzarella and cheddar or sharp cheeses. It’s shaped like a slender cylinder. However, its iconic name arises from the fact that it is typically eaten by pulling long, thin strips of cheese along its length.
As an appealing dairy product, the question, “Is string cheese healthy?” is not an uncommon one among a society moving towards vegetarianism and against dairy. The reality is that, yes, string cheese is an incredibly nutritious. Furthermore, it’s great as a minimally processed snack or small meal add-on. Its main ingredients typically include pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, and enzymes all jam-packed into a portioned, 80-calorie cylinder of delight.
Digging a bit deeper into its nutritional profile, string cheese also serves as a rich source of protein (8 grams per string) and calcium (20% DV), which are essential to bone and muscle strength/maintenance.
Items that Contain String Cheese?
Luckily, there are several reputable brands that provide both traditional and non-traditional string cheese products. Whether you are looking for an economical, a well-known, a gourmet, or even an organic option, there is essentially a string cheese for everyone. Below, we have outlined some of the top brands of string cheese available today.
- Kraft’s Polly-O: smooth flavor with just the right amount of softness
- Frigo: stringy with just the right amount of saltiness
- Trader Joe’s Organic: mild flavor and saltiness
- Sorrento: salty, slightly rubbery texture
- 365: slightly sharp taste and very soft texture
Dangers of String Cheese
When asking the question of, “Is string cheese healthy?” one must also contemplate any potential risks or dangers associated with this food’s ingredients. Below, we have reviewed any potential harm, if any, that may arise from consuming the ingredients found in this product.
1. Pasteurized Milk
One of the downsides of pasteurized milk consumption is that it is an allergen concern for those who cannot consume dairy products. Another is that the pasteurization process does result in the destruction of some essential minerals/vitamins and beneficial gut bacteria.
2. Cheese Culture
The role of this ingredient is to raise milk’s acidity enough so that milk sugar is converted into lactic acid. While generally considered as safe, high lactic acid contents in foods are potentially bothersome and dangerous for those sensitive or allergic to dairy products.
While salt is essential to the human diet, too much can contribute to hypertension and heart disease.
Enzymes are essential to the cheese-making process, as they serve as the catalysts by which curds (solid) are separated from whey (liguid). However, although enzymes are not of significant concern, their origin (microbial, plant, animal) is not usually listed on string cheese food labels, which could make them a potential allergen concern for some consumers.
Are there Benefits for String Cheese?
Wildly considered as one of the top 5 most nutritious cheeses, asking yourself, “Is string cheese healthy?” seems almost silly. While there are a few concerns when it comes to this product, as highlighted above, the benefits far outweigh the majority of them. To follow are 5 of the top ones.
Due to its substantial protein content, 8 grams per serving, string cheese is a great in-between meals snack that is sure to keep your belly from rumbling. It includes all of the essential amino acids, which makes it a great source of high quality protein.
2. Stronger Bones and Muscles
As a rich source of calcium (20% DV), string cheese keeps your bones strong and assists in proper muscle function.
From convenience stores to larger grocery markets, string cheese is easily accessible when hunger strikes.
Whether you’re low on cash, trying to save some money, and/or are simply very conscientious in your spending habits, string cheese is an affordable food option for all. The average cost per package of 12 is between $2.00 and $4.00. That’s roughly $0.17 to $0.33 per unit!
5. Farmer and Dairy Market Support
Aside from health and monetary benefits, each and every dairy purchase made supports a farmer near or far. After all, where does cheese essentially come from? Dairy farms across the United States, but primarily in Wisconsin and California.
As one can see, for the question of, “Is string cheese healthy?” the answer is an obvious “Yes.” String cheese is a wonderful and affordable snack or meal component option that the majority of individuals may indulge in regularly and without worry over any possible adverse effects from consumption. Besides, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love cheese? Start implementing it today for a more well-rounded and sustaining diet. Please feel free to leave your insights below on how string cheese has had or will have a positive impact on your healthy lifestyle.