Cheese Facts

Cheese is a natural, healthy food that can play an important part of a balanced diet and although every type of cheese varies in its nutrition values, cheese in general is an excellent source of nutrition, especially for children and vegetarians. It contains protein for energy and vitamins A, B12 and D. Labels on Greenland packed cheeses will give specific information about cheese.

Cheese can play an important role within a balanced diet for many people. Many cheeses are an excellent source of calcium, a nutrient which is vital for the development of healthy bones and teeth and the prevention of osteoporosis (where bones lose their strength and density and become liable to fracture).

Vitamins and Minerals

Cheese is also a useful source of protein, required by the body for growth and repair. The higher fat cheeses are also good sources of vitamin A; essential for healthy eyes and skin, and most cheeses contain a useful source of vitamin B12; required for blood cells and nerve function.

Cheese is good for our teeth, partly due to the high calcium and phosphorus content which may help to strengthen them, and also as it neutralises the acid in the mouth (by encouraging saliva production) which would otherwise attack the enamel on the teeth.

Daily Intake

A 30g piece (matchbox size) of cheeses such as Cheddar, Jarlsberg, Port Salut, Roquefort or Leerdammer will provide around 200mg calcium which is approximately a third of the daily requirements for teenage girls and adults (a fifth for teenage boys). Calcium intake is particularly important for bone health throughout childhood and young adulthood. Our peak bone mass is reached by our mid 30’s and the greater this is, the less chance there is of suffering with osteoporosis in later life.

Cheese and Health

A piece of cheese with some fruit makes a much healthier snack than crisps or biscuits. Try a small portion of a strong flavoured blue cheese such as Stilton (32% fat), Roquefort (31% fat, made from sheeps milk) or a mature hard cheese. Alternatively try medium fat content cheeses such as Camembert or Coeur de Lion Brie (24% fat). Some cheeses are naturally low in fat such as Quark (0.3-11% fat) which is a soft spreadable cheese. This can be spread on crisp breads or toast instead of butter as a low fat alternative.

A nutritious food

Cheese is extremely nutritious and one of the most convenient and versatile foods around. Most cheeses are packed with several essential nutrients which are important for good health at any age. The nutrients in cheese play many important roles within the body:

  • Vitamin A for eyesight.
  • Vitamin B12 for red blood cells.
  • Calcium for strong bones and teeth.
  • Magnesium for muscle function.
  • Phosphorus for release of energy.

Did you know?

The amount of vitamins and minerals cheese contains varies between the different varieties, but on the whole hard cheeses, such as Cheddar, have the highest concentration of nutrients overall.

Most children love cheese and cheese provides a wide range of nutrients that children need for healthy growth and development.

Dental Health

Cheese has a positive effect on dental health. Cheese does not cause tooth decay, but it can actually help protect teeth. Eating a small piece of hard cheese as a snack or after meals can help reduce the risk of tooth decay.

Bone Health

A calcium-rich diet is important for bones but many young people do not get enough calcium. A small piece of hard cheese (30g for a teenage girl or 45g for a boy) will provide a teenager with approximately a third of the calcium they require daily. Bones require calcium for development and cheese is a good provider of calcium. It also provides other nutrients such as protein, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin K, which are all important for building bones.


Contrary to popular belief, research has shown that children who consume milk and dairy foods are likely to be slimmer than those who do not. In contrast to many foods which contain some fat, such as crisps, cakes and biscuits, cheese is‘nutrient dense’ as it provides many essential nutrients compared to its fat and calorie content.

  • Protein for growth and repair
  • Riboflavin for healthy skin.
  • Niacin for energy production.
  • Zinc for wound healing and the immune system.
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