Laughing Cow isn't bad for you in moderation - but other than its high amount of calcium - it isn't good for you either. After a few wedges, the benefit of calcium will not be greater than the risk of large amounts of saturated fats and sodium.
I love Laughing Cow's spreadable cheese wedges. Personally, my favorites are the garlic herb and Swiss original. If you are anything like me when it comes to these delicious snacks, you don't stop at just one wedge. After all, it's healthy - right? Well, as it turns out, not so much. Let's take a look at the nutritional value for one wedge of original creamy Swiss as given by Laughing Cow's website.
There are 50 calories, 4 grams of total fat (2.5 grams of saturated fat or 13% the daily recommended intake), 10 mg of cholesterol (3% of the RDI), 190 mg of sodium (8% of the RDI), 2 grams of protein (4% of the RDI), and 8% of the RDI of calcium. The good news is that there is only one gram of sugar per wedge. Unfortunately, there is no dietary fiber, nor are there any vitamins or minerals, except for calcium and perhaps some trace amounts of phosphorous.
In other words, there's a ton of saturated fat and sodium in each circular package with very little in the way of nutrition. The ingredients do not contain many of the additives found in other processed foods, but there is citric acid, which can lead to a sore throat and abdominal pain - and of course erode tooth enamel over a prolonged period of time. Sodium citrate, a citric acid salt, is also found in the ingredients. Also of concern is whey, which means people who are lactose or whey intolerant should not eat Laughing Cow.
As much as I'd like it not to be true, the fact is that Laughing Cow is not good for your health. Its only redeeming qualities are that it has a good amount of calcium, which is especially important for healthy bones, and it packs a fair amount of protein. Otherwise, it's little more than a salty snack of fat and cholesterol. Still, it won't hurt to have just one wedge every now and then. Eating the full container daily...that could be problematic.
Possible short-term side effects
Possible long-term side effects
- weight gain, obesity
- cardiovascular disease
- increased cholesterol
Ingredients to be aware of
- may help prevent bone diseases
- may help strengthen bones
- decent source of protein
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Written by Jeff Volling | 01-03-2016
Written by Jeff Volling
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