Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Scientists: Eating cheese reduces the risk of developing heart disease

Scientists: Eating cheese reduces the risk of developing heart disease

While low-fat dairy products are considered more favorable than high-fat dairy products by federal nutrition guidelines, the meta-analysis found limited evidence that high-fat dairy could increase the risk of CVD, CHD, or stroke compared to low-fat dairy. Researchers suggest that 40 grams (a bite, or two slices) daily is the magic amount of lactose to keep those heart muscles strong.

Researchers in China and New Zealand examined 15 studies from PubMed and EMBASE that involved cheese to better understand the relationship between cheese and heart disease.

They concluded that those who regularly ate cheese cut their chances of having a stroke by 10% and chances of developing certain coronary heart diseases by 14%.

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Experts, however, warn that this is not linear - in short, the study does not mean that people should start consuming blocks of cheese to prevent heart disease.

Dutch and Chinese scientists examined dietary data from more than 200,000 people and came up with a surprising result.

While cheese is a source of saturated fat, the researchers state that it "also has potentially beneficial nutrients", such as calcium, which helps limit how much saturated fat the body absorbs.

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A 40 gram square, about the size of matchbox, was the sweet spot for health benefits. Importantly, they are observational, so they do not prove a causal association between cheese intake and better cardiovascular health. It could be that people who eat cheese on a daily basis are healthier overall, or have more disposable income and higher socioeconomic statuses.

The study did not look at different types of cheeses, and Stewart says more research is needed to know whether certain varieties hold more health benefits (or risks) than others. "It's promising to find that something that actually tastes good-and pairs well with a nice glass of red wine-may offer some protection, as well".

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