Do you love adding cheese to many dishes, or are you eating it alone? Are you wondering how easily our bodies digest cheese? Can it slow down the digestive system? Can you speed up the process? Let’s find out!
Cheeses are a popular option of diary that many of us are adding to many dishes. It is a versatile ingredient that we eat on a daily/weekly basis. But as it is a dairy product and is rich in fats, does that mean it is difficult for your body to digest it?
When speaking about the digestion time of different specific foods, it is important to know that the digestion time may be affected by many factors like your digestive system health, how fast it is, your age, gender, physical activity level, and so on.
Because of all these factors, the digestion time will be different.
If we exclude these factors and take into consideration only the cheeses, then the digestion time depends on the type of cheese you plan to eat.
Let me explain.
For example, a harder and aged cheese will be digested longer if we compare the digestion time with a fresh soft cheese. The explanation is that during the aging process of the cheeses, the proteins and fats will break them down
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The digestion time of cheese, like any other food, depends on a variety of factors. One important factor is the type of cheese you are consuming.
If you have lactose issues, you should consider hard, aged cheeses, as your body will digest them easier. This happens because the fresher cheeses are, the more lactose they will contain.
So, if you are lactose-intolerant, your digestive system will have issues with fresher, soft cheeses, and you will also feel stomach discomfort.
Because of that, if you know you’re sensitive to lactose, avoid fresh, creamy cheeses like ricotta or cottage cheese.
How Long Does It Take to Digest Cheese?
Here is an average estimation of how much time it will take for the human body to digest a specific type of cheese:
|Cheese Types||Digestion Time|
|Cottage Cheese||2-3 hours|
|Blue Cheese||3-4 hours|
Quick Note: It is important to mention that this is an approximate only. The time may differ from one person to another one.
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Are Cheeses Hard to Digest?
Cheese may be considered harder to digest if we compare them with other ingredients as they are richer in fats and dairy, which may be difficult to digest for some people if they are sensitive to lactose or casein.
If you just plan to add different cheeses to your diet, it is important to pay attention to how your body will react so you can add them gradually, in small portions, to avoid any digestive discomfort.
Quick Note: Eat different types of cheeses in small quantities and pay attention to how your body will react to them.
How to Digest Them Easier?
There are a few things you can try to help your body digest cheese more easily:
If you want to make the digestion process of the cheeses easier, then consider eating them in moderation in small portions to be easier for your body to handle the cheeses.
If you know that you have issues with lactose, you may consider taking a digestive enzyme supplement that will help to break down the lactose from the cheeses.
Quick Note: Consult a doctor before you get those supplements.
You may also consider eating cheeses with fiber-rich foods like different vegetables or whole grains. By doing that, the cheeses will move more easily through the digestive system.
Does Cheese Slow Digestion?
The cheeses may slow down digestion if you’re sensitive to lactose which means that your body may not produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which helps break down lactose in the small intestine.
How to know that you’re sensitive to lactose? Just listen to your body. It will tell by itself. After you eat cheese or other dairy products, you may have a few digestive symptoms like bloating, gas or diarrhea.
If your body can digest lactose without difficulties, then cheeses and other dairy products can improve your digestion and reduce constipation.
Like all dairy products, cheese is a good source of calcium, which is essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth.
Is It Good for Your Gut?
Also, if you will eat some fermented dairy products like is mozzarella cheese, you will increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome.
Some research has also suggested that consuming dairy products, including mozzarella cheese, may benefit gut health and lower the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease.
Is Eating Too Much Cheese Bad for You?
As the cheeses are high in fat and calories, you should consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. If you have a lactose intolerance or other digestive condition, consider eating cheeses in smaller portions or avoiding them altogether.
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