Cheese isn't making you fat, it's bread - KMSP-TV

Cheese isn't making you fat, it's bread

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Packers versus Vikings, Minnesota versus Wisconsin, bread versus cheese, they're timeless battles.

One matchup regarded as a stadium foe, another, a tolerable neighbor, and the third can be fused harmoniously into pizza. Either way, bread and cheese are often synonymous with obesity, and if obesity had a birthplace, it could be Minnesota or Wisconsin -- one state famous for flour, the other for cheese.

Touted the "Milling Capital of the World," Minnesota's love affair with bread goes back more than 150 years, but over the past 40 years, our consumption of cheese has increased almost 300 percent. It's probably our neighbor Wisconsin's fault.

A series of reports called The Changing American Diet by the Center for Science in the Public Interest offers a report card for each food group within the American diet, and there aren't any As to be found.

Today, Americans are eating nearly three times more cheese than they did in 1970. We've gone from eating eight to 23 pounds of cheese each year. While cheese is high in fat, when it comes to packing on pounds, experts say it's actually flour that's worse for you due to the carbohydrates that are turned to sugar after they're ingested.

Yet, it's bread that most people have a hard time giving up -- maybe because it's everywhere.

"Oh, we're eating it in pizza crust, pasta, bread, bagels, muffins, we're eating a lot of that," nutritionist Darlene Kvist said.

No matter what you eat, experts almost unanimously agree avoiding process foods and portion control are key.

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