What you should know about feta


Feta, the favorite cheese of the Greeks, gives us a lot of zinc and proteins of high biological value, which are necessary for the smooth development and health of the musculoskeletal system. It owes its name to the fact that it is cut into large triangular slices to fit in the barrels where it matures. Still others argue that it is so called because we cut it and serve it in slices.

Feta is a white cheese made from goat’s and sheep’s milk, which matures in brine. It was finally established as a PDO product only in 2002, after adventures and appeals mainly from Denmark and France. In order to be called a Feta PDO cheese, it must meet certain conditions.

Feta as a cheese it has enough calcium. Thus, a medium piece of 50 gr. will give us about 1/4 of the amount of calcium a healthy adult needs daily. It also has satisfactory amounts of phosphorus, also a very important component for our body.

Precisely because it is rich in salt, it is a good snack for after exercise as it can help us replenish the salt we lost through sweat and exercise. If we pay attention to salt in our diet, we can salt the feta in water or milk before putting it in the refrigerator.

Feta is good for the bones

Feta is a good source of calcium, phosphorus and protein, which have been shown to contribute to better bone health. Calcium and protein help maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis, while phosphorus helps your bones absorb calcium. In addition, sheep’s and goat’s milk contains more calcium and phosphorus than cow’s milk. Therefore, by incorporating cheeses such as feta into your diet, you will more easily achieve calcium’s.

Feta is good for the digestive system

Probiotics are live, friendly bacteria that benefit your health. Feta has been shown to contain the probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum, which represents about 48% of the bacteria in feta. These bacteria can help improve the health of the immune system and the gut by protecting the intestinal tract from disease-causing bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.

In addition, probiotics increase the production of chemicals that inhibit the body’s inflammatory response. Finally, studies in a test tube have shown that these resistant bacteria and other yeast strains found in feta grow in a low pH environment, which means that they survive bile acids.

Feta has good fats

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is a fatty acid found in animal products. It has been shown to contribute to better body composition by reducing fat mass in it. CLA can also help prevent diabetes and has been shown to work against cancer.

Sheep’s milk cheeses have a higher CLA concentration than those with cow’s or goat’s milk. Feta contains up to 1.9% CLA, which corresponds to 0.8% of its fat content. And this CLA content may decrease after the ripening period and during storage, however a study has shown that the use of bacterial cultures in the production of cheese (as is done in feta) helps to increase the concentration of CLA.

Possible problems from consuming feta

Feta is a good source of nutrients from dairy products. However, due to the way it is produced and the types of milk used in it, it could have some disadvantages.

Feta has a high content of sodium (salt)

During the process of making it, salt is added to the curd. In addition, during storage, the cheese should be dipped in brine with up to 7% salt.

The final product is a cheese that has enough sodium. Specifically, feta contains 312 mg of sodium per 28 grams of serving, which corresponds to 13% of ISP in sodium. A good idea to reduce the salt content of feta is to rinse it with water before putting it on your plate.

Feta is high in lactose

Fresh cheeses and cheeses with high levels of milk fat tend to have more lactose than aged cheeses. As feta is a fresh whole milk cheese, it has a higher lactose content than other cheeses, such as gouda, parmesan and cream cheese. Those who are allergic or lactose intolerant should avoid eating fresh cheeses, including the cheeese we mention.

Pregnant women should not consume unpasteurized cheese

Listeria monocytogenes (listeria) is a species of bacterium found naturally in water and soil that can infect crops and animals. Pregnant women are usually advised to avoid eating raw vegetables and meats, as well as unpasteurized dairy products, as they are likely to be infected with this bacterium.

Unpasteurized milk cheeses have a higher risk of carrying bacteria than pasteurized milk cheeses. Likewise, fresh cheeses have a higher risk for this than aged cheeses, due to their higher humidity. Therefore, because feta is made with unpasteurized milk it is not recommended for pregnant women.


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