The words "cheese" and "healthy" are an odd combination of words to find in a sentence, and yet a new review of research suggests that eating cheese every day may actually be healthy.
Participants in the analysis who ate a little bit of cheese every day were less likely to suffer from a stroke or develop heart disease, compared with people who never or only rarely ate it.
Cheese Might Be Good For You
Researchers from China and the Netherlands compiled and analyzed over 15 observational studies on cheese consumption of over 200,000 people, the results of which were published in the European Journal of Nutrition.
They discovered that eating a small amount of cheese each day lessens a person's chances of developing a coronary heart disease by 14 percent, or reduces their chances of having a stroke by 10 percent.
According to the researchers, high calcium levels in cheese block some of its saturated fats, which apparently balance out the nutritional value ratio.
For the uninitiated, cheese has high levels of saturated fat, which has been linked to high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and increased chances of developing a heart disease. But it also contains probiotics, protein, and as mentioned, calcium, which have health benefits.
Don't Eat Too Much Cheese, Though
However, the relationship between consuming cheese and having lower chances of heart disease was U-shaped instead of linear, the researchers discovered, which means that higher consumption of cheese doesn't mean even lower risk of developing heart disease. In fact, the participants who had the lowest risk were those who every day ate cheese, on average, that's only the size of a matchbook.
Simply put, the study didn't find a cause-and-effect relationship between cheese consumption and diminished heart disease risks, but rather an association between the two. It may very well be that the people who ate cheese and had lower risks of heart disease may have been doing something else to make sure they were healthy, such as exercising. This along with other factors weren't looked at, of course.
The study also failed to look at various kinds of cheeses, which might have yielded different results as there are certain kinds that include more benefits or risks than the typical cheese. Even still, this is good news for cheese lovers out there.
No, one shouldn't go out and eat as much cheese as they can, even though cheese is addictive. But one or two slices a day probably wouldn't hurt.
Thoughts? Personally, do you think cheese is healthy? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!