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(The State Journal-Register) -- For those trying to limit total fat and saturated fat, the Center for Science in the Public Industry is recommending taking a look at how much cheese you're eating.

"Americans are eating far too much fatty cheese," says Margo Wootan, Nutrition Policy Director at CSPI. "Unfortunately, it's everywhere: on sandwiches, on lean chicken, on salads and even on fries. And it's doing even more damage to our hearts than beef or butter."

Wootan says cheese's calcium-rich benefits are offset by the saturated fat. "People would be better off getting their calcium from foods like fat-free or 1 percent milk, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese or calcium-fortified orange juice," she says.

She recommends:

* Ordering pizza with half the regular amount of cheese.

* At restaurants, order sandwiches and burgers without cheese. Adding cheese to a McDonald's Quarter Pounder or a Burger King Whopper adds an extra 5 grams of saturated fat, about a quarter of a day's worth.

* Switch to light or reduced-fat cheese.

* Limit yourself to 2 ounces full-fat cheese per week (the average person eats four times that amount.) "Just one ounce of full-fat cheese can have as much as 6 grams of fat," says Wootan.

(c) 2001 The State Journal-Register, Springfield, IL

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