Brie cheese, called "The Queen of Cheeses," is a soft cheese made from cow's milk. The majority of cheeses labeled as Brie available from your local grocery store are pasteurized, although raw milk varieties are available from specialty cheese shops and via the Internet. If you want raw milk Brie, aged under 60 days, you either have to visit France or make your own; however, United States law prevents the sale of any fresh, unpasteurized cheese.
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A 1-oz. serving of Brie cheese contains 94.9 calories, as well as 7.9 g of fat. This cheese is quite high in fat; 75 percent of the calories come from this macronutrient. Ideally, no more than 20 to 35 percent of your daily total calories should come from fat to avoid excess weight gain. You should also limit your saturated fat, the "bad" type of fat, intake to no more than 15 g per day. Over half the fat in Brie cheese comes from saturated fat: 4.9 g per ounce. Too much saturated fat in your diet may increase your risk of coronary heart disease. While you will not get many carbohydrates in an ounce of Brie cheese – 0.1 g – it does serve as a source of protein. A 1-oz. portion of Brie provides 5.9 g of protein, or 10.5 to 12.8 percent of the 46 to 56 g recommended for daily consumption by the Institute of Medicine.
Brie cheese serves as a good source of vitamins B-12 and B2. One ounce of Brie provides you with 8.7 percent of the vitamin B-12 you require daily, a nutrient vital to the health of your nerves and red blood cells. Without enough vitamin B-12 in your diet, you may suffer from a variety of neurological and psychological problems including muscle weakness, incontinence, dementia and mood swings. Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is also found in Brie cheese. There is 7.8 percent of the daily recommended value per 1-oz. serving. This vitamin provides protection against free radical damage.
One ounce of Brie cheese provides you with approximately 5 percent of the selenium and phosphorus your body needs every day. Selenium in your diet serves an antioxidant, warding off damage from environmental and free radical attacks. The phosphorus contained in Brie cheese is important for your bones and teeth; it also helps remove waste from your kidneys.
Brie cheese contains high levels of sodium -- 178.6 mg per ounce. This accounts for 8 percent of the recommended daily sodium amount of 2,300 mg. Consuming too much sodium regularly contributes to your chance of developing high blood pressure and Americans often ingest over double the suggested amount, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Cheese.com: Brie
- WBEZ91.5: Despite Federal Restrictions, More American Foodies Choose Unpasteurized Cheese
- CalorieLab: Cheese, brie
- USDA: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes
- MedlinePlus: Selenium in Diet
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Phosphorus
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control or Prevention: Sodium