A New Study Shows Cheese Might Be Good For Your Heart

A New Study Shows Cheese Might Be Good For Your Heart

The majority of these studies included only people without heart disease and tracked participants for ten years or more. Thus, good news for all: Eating a small amount of the cheese every day could be good for your heart, according to researchers from Soochow University in China. Moderate cheese eaters may live healthier lifestyles or have higher incomes, leading to reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, researchers pointed out. Those who ate more cheese had a 10% lower risk of having a stroke and were 14% less likely to developing coronary heart disease.

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. "[But the findings were] certainly different from what people might expect". In 2015, the population of the United States consumed the equivalent of of cheese per person, with Cheddar and mozzarella being the most popular choices.

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.

Stewart points out that the study was only able to find an association between cheese consumption and decreased risk of heart disease, rather than a cause-and-effect relationship. Recent research shows, however, that saturated fat may be more benign than we think. Cheese also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an unsaturated fatty acid that may increase the amount of of HDL "good" cholesterol and decrease "bad" LDL levels. The researchers also found that the probiotics in cheese may contribute to its ability to raise levels of "good" cholesterol while also lowering levels of "bad" cholesterol.

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"There is some evidence that cheese-as a substitute for milk, for example-may actually have a protective effect on the heart", says Stewart.

"Furthermore, there was a somewhat U-shaped association between cheese consumption and overall CVD risk, with the largest risk reduction observed at cheese consumption of approximately 40 g/d (1.5 ounces)".

"We're always are searching for ways to minimize heart disease and reduce atherosclerosis", he says.

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