It’s no secret that I am a lover of cheese. Look at my bio at the end of this piece for proof. And, as someone on a high-protein, low-carb diet, I can indulge in dairy-deliciousness without guilt, as long as I do so in moderation. But a lot of people, particularly dieters, consider cheese to be the enemy, and a vice that they have probably sworn off of as they enter their “New Year, New Me” dieting phase. However, according to some recent research, cheese may actually be good for your nutrition regime in more ways than one.
In making the case for fromage, Time rounded up all the recent studies on cheese and detailed the five of the cheesiest benefits:
It’s high in protein, calcium and hard-to-get B12.
Luckily for cheese lovers, these are all things we need. Cheese is high in protein, which not only keeps you full, but also builds cell structures. Cheese also usually has around 20% of a person’s daily recommended amount of calcium, which you need for strong bones. Lastly, cheese also has vitamin B12, which “helps red blood cells form properly and neurological function.” Fun fact: I’m severely B-12 deficient and when my numbers get really low, I lose feeling in my fingers. Good times.
It may help your heart.
Some fun facts that have come out of studies about cheese and your ticker:
– Eating slightly more than an ounce of cheese daily was linked to about a 3% lower risk of stroke.
– Eating one serving of cheese daily has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
– Eating moderate amounts of cheese has been found to predict a longer life.
– Cheese has been linked lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol compared to butter.
It doesn’t increase high blood pressure risk.
Cheese has a lot of sodium, but for reasons even the scientists don’t understand, it isn’t linked to hypertension. Some theorize that “Calcium seems to play a protective role by binding some of the fatty acids in cheese so that they can’t be digested” but we all know the truth – cheese is just magical.
It’s full of good bacteria.
I don’t like to think of any of my food having bacteria, but if it must, at least it’s good bacteria – according to Time, “Some evidence suggests that eating cheese favorably changes the microbiota, the concentration of bugs in the gut, which in turn may be improving metabolism.” I can live with that.
It contains a particularly great fatty acid.
Gökhan Hotamisligil, professor of genetics and metabolism at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, gives a whole lengthy scientific reason for this, talking about a fatty acid called “palmitoleate” in the Time piece. I could give you all of the jargon, but the bottom line is: palmitoleate is good because it blocks bad fatty acids, keeps excess sugar out of the blood, and is an anti-inflammatory. And cheese has a lot of it.
Now doesn’t that make you feel grate? The debate over whether cheese is gouda or bad for you will likely rage on, but don’t be bleu, since current science says cheese isn’t a munster. So until we are able to cut through all the cheddar on cheese, you have my parmesan to give into your passion for cheese with un-brie-dled enjoyment. But just in queso, you may want to not over-indulge in public, you don’t want to make an asiago of yourself.
Sorry if this was cheesy, but I get really jacked up with excitement when it comes to talkin’ cheese. .