Cheese is a divisive product. There are those who will tell you the fat in this milk-based delight will kill you. Although, people on the ketogenic diet will greatly disagree with the common core’s hatred of fats. Then there are the anti-dairy tribes who insist anything related to a cow udder will cause everything from autism to your heart exploding — often posited with emotion trumping science. As with almost everything in life, the reality (read: science) is somewhere in the middle.
A new review of studies has found that cheese isn’t as terrible as many want you to believe. It’s important to note that this isn’t a study, it’s an evaluation of 15 independent studies carried out across Europe and the US with over 200,000 participants.
The report was done by researchers at Soochow University in China and published in the European Journal of Nutrition. What they found was, basically, the consumption of a small amount of cheese daily means that cheese eaters are “14 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease, and their chances of having a stroke were 10 percent lower.”
How is this happening? The authors of the study point out, “Cheese contains saturated fatty acids but also has potentially beneficial nutrients.” Further review of the report goes on to show that the high levels of calcium in cheese act as a sort of blocking mechanism in your body against too much of the saturated fat sticking. So it’s kind of like a balancing act that tips in favor of you eating more cheese thanks to the calcium. Not to mention the wide benefits cheese’s bacteria have for the microflora in your gut — but that’s another story.
So how much cheese do we get to eat every day for the rest of our lives? 40 grams was the sweet spot according to the review. That’s 1.4 ounces of cheese or what the review calls a “matchbox” or what we call a “bite.” Actually, that is about two slices of cheese if you want to look at it that way. Either way, one bite of cheese every day is better than no bites of cheese for the rest of your life.
(Via The Independent)