Eating Cheese Every Day Might Actually Be Good for You

Caroline Picard
Photo credit: Getty

From Good Housekeeping

Cheese makes everything better. Just think of loaded quesadillas, gooey mac and cheese, and of course the heaven-on-Earth that's grilled cheese. But it's not just your palate that benefits from the good stuff. New research supports eating cheese as part of a healthy diet too.

Dutch and Chinese scientists examined dietary data from more than 200,000 people and came up with a surprising result. Those who ate more cheese had a 10% lower risk of having a stroke and were 14% less likely to developing coronary heart disease.

The research published in the European Journal of Nutrition linked chowing down on about 40 grams of cheese daily (about the size of a matchbook) with the lowest chances of heart disease and stroke. That means the average American who eats 42.5 grams per day is right on the money.

Their conclusions still come with a few caveats, however. The research relies mostly on self-reported data, which can be unreliable, and only shows a correlation - not a direct cause-and-effect.

More importantly, the nutritional content of cheese still has its own pros and cons. While dairy products include good-for-you calcium, protein, and probiotics, they also contain saturated fat, which is associated with high cholesterol.

But don't let that deter you from abstaining altogether advises Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, the Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute. "The key takeaway from this study is an important one: Cheese, as a part of a veggie-heavy, plant-based diet can be as beneficial as it is delicious," she says."All foods can fit as a part of a balanced meal plan."

Her take: Consuming saturated fat from real, whole foods (like dairy products) is better - and even possibly beneficial - in comparison to highly processed sources, especially ones that also contain partially hydrogenated oils.

Bring on the cheese!

(h/t New York Daily News)

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