Cheese Platter by Oceano Hotel & Spa featured on California Living with Aprilanne

Cheese Platter by Oceano Hotel & Spa featured on California Living with Aprilanne

Party Girl Diet Holiday Survival Guide Tip:  Cheese and Wine are healthy for you – in moderation.

The Party Season is upon us, and for many, so is the temptation to indulge more – more often!  And while many hosts now offer “figure friendly” party food options, nothing goes quite so elegantly together aswine and cheese - it is a simple, classic, entertaining combination that will make any event a special one!

Now while there is decent evidence to support that both wine and cheese offer health benefits – the operative phrase here is “in moderation!”  Cheese contains bone strengthening calcium and muscle supporting protein – and let’s face it – cheese is yummy – so yummy it can be hard to stop at just one piece – or 1 oz. which is an actual serving of cheese!  A good “rule of thumb”  is, a portion of cheese is about the size of your thumb – or about 1 inch long and 1/2 an inch wide.

To make the most of your cheese endeavors the suggestions below offer some interesting tidbits to keep in mind when buying, serving, and eating cheese:

  • Make the most of your cheese serving by using a grater as shredded portions appear more substantial.
  • Lactose intolerant?  You may want to stick to firmer cheese varieties which usually have less lactose.
  • Soft, fluffy cheeses have less fat content and fewer calories than hard cheeses because they contain more water.

Did you know that in France entire courses and even entire meals revolve around cheese?  Some cheeses even taking on the role of a dessert item to be  savored with a fine glass of wine or port.

Thanks to the resveratrol properties found in the skin of the grapes that are used to make wine, there is also a strong body of evidence growing to support the claims that consuming wine in moderation offers some “cardio-protective” health benefits.  Again, the key phrase to consider when looking to include wine in your diet is “in moderation.”   An acceptable serving amount to reap these reported heart health benefits is 1 – (one)  5 oz. glass a day for women, and 1- 2 glasses for men.   Please keep in mind, no one is suggesting those who don’t drink red wine start, as you can attain the same resveratrol benefits from consuming grape juice.

Putting it all together:  A simple, elegant entertaining idea is to host a Wine & Cheese Pairing Party during which you and your guests pair up your favorite cheeses with the right wine selection.  We go into detail on how to Host the Ultimate “Wine & Cheese Paring Event” with Party Girl Entertaining Tips check out my recent Food & Wine post on CAInsider.com – check it out and have some “healthy fun”  (in moderation of course!) this holiday season – Enjoy!  Aprilanne

PS:  According the the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition “women who ate an ounce of full fat cheese daily gained fewer pounds over time than those who did not eat full-fat cheese daily. ” According to this research, “whole-dairy contains conjugated linoleic acid which may boost your metabolism.”  It is worth repeating that enjoying both wine and cheese can be a part of a healthy diet and lifestyle when enjoyed in moderation!

Aprilanne Hurley, California Living Health Expert and author of The Party Girl Diet

Aprilanne Hurley is a Certified Nutrition Professional and the Health Expert for California Living, the Bay Area’s original lifestyle show featuring California’s trends in food, travel, and healthy living. Hurley’s new book, The Party Girl Diet – will be available worldwide on Amazon.com January 1, 2011…so you can “Keep the Party Going…While You Lose the Weight!”  The Party Girl Diet’shealthy, sustainable lifestyle plan combines today’s groundbreaking health and nutrition research with Hurley’s penchant for good living, and her 10+ years experience in Broadcast Journalism specializing in educating the public on important health and wellness topics and concerns.

Contact Aprilanne with your nutrition and lifestyle questions @ aprilanne@partygirldiet.com

This information has been offered to provide an overview of a particular topic to the reader and does is not intended to cure, prevent, or treat any illness, and should not be construed as medical advice  – always check with your doctor or health care provider before trying any new exercise regimen or diet program.

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