Is Cheese Bad for Anemia? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Cheese is bad for anemia. Because it has calcium and casein and they can decrease the iron absorption and bioavailability.

Anemia is a condition that affects your blood.

In anemia, your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin to carry oxygen to your tissues and organs.

This can lead to various health problems, such as fatigue, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and increased risk of infections.

One of the key factors in managing anemia is diet.

What you consume can affect your iron levels, which can impact your anemia symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage anemia, you should consume iron-rich foods like meat, poultry, seafood, beans, and green leafy vegetables and avoid calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts, and bananas.

Now, cheese is a dairy product made from milk.

People usually eat cheese as a snack, in sandwiches, salads, pizzas, or other dishes.

Cheese is bad for anemia because it contains calcium and casein.

Calcium interferes with the absorption of iron in your body, making it harder for you to get enough iron from your diet.

Casein is a protein in cheese that can form complexes with iron and reduce its bioavailability.

One ounce of cheese can give you about 200 mg of calcium (20% of your daily needs) and 6 g of protein (12% of your daily needs).

Calcium can decrease the absorption of iron by up to 50%.

Casein can reduce the iron bioavailability by up to 30%.

These effects can worsen your anemia and lower your hemoglobin levels.

Furthermore, cheese is a high-fat food and fat is bad for anemia.

Because, fat can increase the inflammation in your body and impair the production of red blood cells.

That’s why I suggest you limit your cheese intake to avoid worsening your anemia.

Stick to no more than one ounce of cheese per day to minimize the negative effects on your iron absorption and red blood cell formation.

Also, you shouldn’t eat cheese if you have lactose intolerance or a milk allergy to prevent digestive problems or allergic reactions.

Because, cheese contains lactose and milk proteins that can trigger these conditions.

You can buy fresh cheese in your local market or can order it from online.

Always choose cheese that is low in sodium and fat.

Because, sodium can increase your blood pressure and fat can increase your cholesterol levels.

You can store cheese in the refrigerator for up to a month or in the freezer for up to six months.

Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil to prevent it from drying out or getting moldy.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing anemia effectively.

I always recommend my anemia patients to follow an iron-rich diet to improve their hemoglobin levels and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

Get a Customized Diet Plan

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

Leave a Comment