I am a confused about cheese as a diabetic.

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I am a little confused about cheese and I am a diabetic. I know that 1/4 cup of low-fat cottage cheese is permissible, but what about the hard cheeses like cheddar, American and so on? What is in them that we cannot have?

You can have hard cheeses and exchange cheese for meat in your eating plan. Hard cheeses like American, cheddar, Monterey Jack or Swiss are listed with the high-fat meats. High-fat meats are higher in fat (8 grams) and higher in calories (100 calories). When you eat one ounce of cheese, you should exchange one meat and 1/2 fat.

If you were to eat a slice of bread and cheese, you could omit spreading margarine or mayonnaise on one of the slices of bread. This would cut out the extra 1/2 fat exchange in each ounce of cheese.

Other cheeses like feta and mozzarella are medium fat meats. They have an average amount of fat and no extra fat exchanges have to be omitted when you eat these cheeses. One ounce of these cheeses is exchanged as one medium-fat meat.

Cheeses, including 4.5% fat cottage cheese and Parmesan are lean meat exchanges and are similar to chicken or fish.

A person with diabetes can eat all varieties of cheese, preferably not cheese spreads, processed cheese or cheese food which are usually higher in fat and salt. A person with diabetes and high blood pressure should read the cheese food label for sodium content to determine if a particular cheese should be included in his / her eating plan. For persons with high blood pressure, 300 milligrams or less per serving is recommended.