The Olympic favorite has been wrapping her injured shin in an Austrian cheese — topfen — to reduce inflammation.
One former Olympic trainer wasn’t surprised.
“It’s not bizarre at all,” said Ralph Reiff, certified athletic trainer and director of Sports Medicine and Sports Performance for St. Vincent Hospital of Indianapolis, Indiana. “It’s just what athletes at that level do.”
If that’s not enough of a reason to love cheese . . . here’s an even better one. A recent study revealed that women who ate an ounce of full-fat cheese daily gained less weight over time than their peers who did not eat the cheese. This aligns nicely with that whole “French paradox” theory, n’est-ce pas? Here is a take on the study from Self magazine:
The big wheel
Who knew? Indulging in a little of this dairy dynamo can keep you slim. Here’s your guide to becoming a cheese whiz.
December 2009 Issue
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Holy cow! Women who ate an ounce of full-fat cheese daily gained fewer pounds over time than their less-cheesy peers, a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows. Whole dairy contains conjugated linoleic acid, which may stoke your metabolism. To get more waist-whittling power from your wedge, savor a single-ounce portion (about the size of your thumb) of one of these top picks daily.
One ounce of this creamy choice contains 76 calories and 6 grams of fat (4 g saturated) and boasts 5 g of filling protein. It’s also a good source of copper, which keeps your immune system humming. Swap out mayo and smear goat cheese on a wrap or mix with chopped nuts and dried fruit for a filling toast topper.
At 111 calories per serving, it seems like a splurge, but Parmesan comes with loads of needed nutrients: A single ounce contains nearly as much bone-building calcium as a glass of milk and 10 g protein—more per ounce than chicken breast. Grate and sprinkle over a bowl of salad greens for a punch of flavor.
It’s easy to warm up to this classic queso: It gets perfectly gooey—not greasy—when heated and has 6 percent more calcium than American cheese. An extra sharp cheddar adds zing to favorite foods like tacos and veggie burgers.
Nosh on Monterey Jack and a piece of fruit for a salty-sweet balance of carbs, fiber, protein and fat that can tide you over until your next meal. In the mood for something spicy? Choose pepper Jack cheese, a twist on Monterey Jack that includes hot peppers such as jalepeños. Eat 1 ounce of either to secure about 20 percent of your daily requirement of calcium and 6 g protein for 110 calories.
Good news, lasagna lovers! Even full-fat ricotta is a low-cal wonder: It weighs in at a scant 49 calories and 4 g fat (2 g saturated) per ounce and has the lowest amount of sodium of any cheese out there. For a decadent-tasting dish, toss ricotta with pasta and fresh herbs or stir into jarred tomato sauce for an easy upgrade.
This mellow, firm cheese is versatile enough to go with most deli meats. One slice offers 21 percent of your daily requirement for calcium, along with other bone-building minerals phosphorus and selenium. Layer it on top of lean meat for 100 calories and 7 g fat (5 g saturated).
Net 22 percent of your daily calcium with one serving of this luscious pick. Mozzarella contains 85 calories and 6 g fat (4 g saturated) per ounce. It’s an ideal fit for omelets because it won’t overwhelm the mild flavor of eggs and meshes well with most vegetables. Cheese for breakfast? Yes, please!