I come from a family of cheese lovers so I generally find it's best to keep my thoughts on dairy to myself when I'm at home, but over Easter the subject got brought up by somebody else and my opinion sought so I gave it.
My family seemed surprised to hear hat dairy was not an essential element of a 'healthy diet' and more over that cheese shouldn't be categorized as a 'staple' food but rather a treat food to be saved for our 20% treat food allowance along with sugar, confectionary, cakes, unhealthy cuts of meat, any processed foods and drinks and alcohol.
I'm not a fan of the 'staple' food label, particularly because it's been used as a brain washing tool by the dairy marketing board and other food lobbies to convince people we all need to have milk and bread every day to be healthy!! Let's be clear once and for all, for an average adult (children and athletes have different nutritional needs that may require more fats), dairy food is not a healthy food and does not need to be eaten to stay healthy and the same applies for refined wheat products (wholewheat does have a place in the diets of the non-wheat intolerant).
However if you want some 'staples' to base your diet on here's my list of staple foods that you should be eating on a regular basis as a foundation of a healthy diet:
brown rice - the ultimate slow burn, B vitamin rich carbohydrate, a million times better for you than white bread or quick cook rice
pulses - often these get overlooked, but pulses are an amazing source of protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre and should be a staple in all our diets, if you eat these every day your heart and gut will thank you later in life
green leafy veg - kings of the vegetables and in the top ten for anti-cancer foods, have a couple of portions every day to live a long and healthy life
berries and cherries - the lowest sugar, highest anti-oxidant fruit out there, berries are the best
fish - especially the oily variety, low in saturated fats, high in protein and rich in essential fats that protect your brain and keep you sane into old age
nuts and seeds - another great source of essential fats, proteins and minerals. Have a sprinkling every day.