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Say “Cheese” to a Healthy New Year!

Cheese is a major part of many types of cuisines, and has been adding flavor to everyday dishes - and gourmet feasts - for hundreds of years. A main ingredient in all types of recipes, cheese is flavorful and extremely versatile. Only bread, rice and potatoes can rival cheese when it comes to culinary ubiquity. While fromage is renown around the world for its flavor, often overlooked are its healthful qualities. As the New Year begins many people strive to improve their health and diets – and cheese can help the cause, while adding delicious flavor and textures in the process.

Here’s some of the ways cheese contributes to healthy diets:

Vitamins and minerals
- French cheeses are high in Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a healthy trans fatty acid with cancer-fighting attributes. According to a 1998 survey, CLA levels in French cheese ranged from 5.3 to 15.8 mg/g of fat.

- Cheese is packed with bone-strengthening calcium. According to the American Dietetic Association, an ounce of cheese provides 200 - 300 mg of calcium.

- Fromage provides a good source of protein and vitamins, including Vitamin D - which the body needs to absorb calcium.

- Vitamin A, which is predominant in cheese, is essential for cell growth, vision and the immune system. About 80 to 85% of the Vitamin A present in milk is passed on to cheese.

- Cheese contains a large amount of other essential nutrients like phosphorous, zinc, riboflavin and vitamin B12.

Snackin’ in the New Year
Having light snacks between meals is the best way to control appetite, keep energy levels up and prevent over indulging at meal times. A healthy snack will stabilize blood sugar and metabolism. Try these simple and delicious combinations for healthy snacking this year:

- A cheese assortment featuring vegetables, fruits, honey, jams and whole grain bread.

- Fresh olives, roasted peppers and tomatoes are delicious with Ile de France Goat Cheese.

- Blueberries and strawberries are colorful, flavorful and full of anti-oxidants. They also taste great with soft cheeses like Ile de France Brie.

- Pear and apple slices are perfect complements to Ile de France Brie, as well as the new Camembert Cheese.

- Fresh dates and assorted nuts are full of protein – and pair perfectly with Ile de France Goat Cheese and Fol Epi.

- Assorted green leafy vegetables with blue cheese like Bleu d’Auvergne or St. Agur are perfect for light, healthy salads or enjoy it with raw mushrooms.

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