But when people talk about their love of cheese, it’s often said with guilt: “Cheese is my weakness.”
“Cheese is rich in nutrients such as protein, calcium and phosphorus, which can serve a healthy purpose in your diet,” says Lisa Young, adjunct professor of nutrition at New York University. says. Studies show that even full-fat cheese doesn’t necessarily make you gain weight or have a heart attack.Cheese can raise or lower your risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, according to research. It doesn’t seem to happen.
Good Bacteria, Lower Risk of Saturated Fat
It’s easy to see why people feel conflicted about cheese.For years, U.S. dietary guidelines have recommended that whole dairy products, such as full-fat cheese, be saturated fat, can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, a known risk for heart disease. Cheese has also been implicated in digestive problems such as weight gain and bloating.
Yes, they are high in calories. Some varieties have over 100 calories per ounce. And they’re full of saturated fat. So why is it safe for most people to eat? It’s not the only one,” he said.
Traditional thinking about nutrition has focused on individual nutrients that promote or prevent disease, such as fats and proteins. It focuses on the whole and how its structure, nutrients, enzymes, and other components interact.
When milk turns into cheese, it changes the way nutrients and other ingredients are chemically arranged in the process. This affects how it is digested and processed by the body, and can have different health effects than the effects of eating the same nutrients in another form, such as butter.
In 2018, Feeney spent six weeks clinical trial 164 people ate equal amounts of milk fat in the form of butter or cheese and switched midway through the study. says.
Experts have different theories as to why the saturated fat in cheese is less harmful. Other studies have shown that fatty acids in cheese called sphingolipids can increase the activity of genes that help the body break down cholesterol. Suggested.
Several beneficial compounds are also obtained when cheese is made.Vitamin K It can form during the fermentation process,” says Sarah Booth, director of the Vitamin K Institute at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston. , important for bone and vascular health.
And as a fermented food, “both raw and pasteurized cheeses contain beneficial bacteria that are beneficial to the human gut microbiome,” says Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin, food safety, quality and regulatory compliance officer. Vice President Adam Brock said. Found in ripened cheeses such as cheddar and gouda, these good bacteria break down food, synthesize vitamins, prevent disease-causing bacteria from colonizing, and boost immunity.
Weight gain, lactose misconceptions
Cheese also appears to reduce the risk of weight gain and some chronic diseases.
Weight gain: Cheese is a concentrated source of calories. But studies show that you don’t need to skip cheese to stabilize your scales. New England Journal of Medicineresearchers set out to determine which foods were associated with weight gain by following 120,877 men and women in the United States for 20 years and weighing them every four years. , even those who ate more during the study were associated with neither gains nor losses.
One of the reasons why cheese can help you manage your weight is that it may suppress your appetite more than other dairy products.
Cardiovascular disease: Big Meta-analysis of 15 studies published in the European Journal of Nutrition A study looking at the effects of cheese on cardiovascular disease found that those who ate the most (1.5 ounces a day) had a 10% lower risk than those who ate nothing. Other analyzes found that cheese did not appear to affect heart disease risk in either way.
Diabetes and Hypertension: Cheese and full-fat dairy products also appear to be associated with reduced risk of both. Study of over 145,000 people in 21 countries, researchers found that eating two servings a day of full-fat dairy or a mixture of full-fat and low-fat products was associated with a 24- and 11-percent reduction in the risk of both conditions compared to eating nothing. Eating only low-fat dairy products slightly increased risk. Also, among those who did not have diabetes or high blood pressure at the start of the nine-year study, those who ate two servings of dairy daily were less likely to develop the disease during the study.
Lactose intolerance: The lactose in milk is difficult for some people to digest and can cause diarrhea, bloating, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. When digested, says Jamie Pung of the American Cheese Association. Much of the remaining lactose is found in the whey and is separated from the curds and drained towards the end of the cheese-making process. Stick to hard or aged cheeses like cheddar, provolone, parmesan, blue, camembert and gouda, and minimize fresh soft cheeses like ricotta and cottage cheese.
While cheese itself doesn’t appear to have any negative health effects, how you incorporate it into your overall diet is important.
In many of the studies suggesting a neutral or beneficial effect, the maximum amount of cheese people ate each day averaged about 1.5 ounces, but in some cases was up to 3 ounces. It is the size of an outstretched thumb.)
Some studies have found that the health benefits of cheese are greatest when it replaces unhealthy foods such as reds and blues. processed meatSo there’s a big difference between crushing blue cheese on top of a salad and serving a pepperoni pizza with double cheese. Incorporating cheese into a Mediterranean-style diet that includes known foods is most beneficial for overall health, says Young.
For those watching their sodium intake, cheese can be quite salty. Most types provide 150-300 milligrams of sodium per ounce. (The daily value is no more than 2,300 mg.) But eating more can add sodium.
The shape of the cheese can also affect its health effects. “A lot of the cheese and health research uses cheese in its unmelted form,” says Feeney. “We don’t yet know how melting or cooking cheese, for example, on pizza or eaten in prepared dishes such as casseroles, affects health.”
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