A reasonable daily cheese consumption could help prevent heart diseases and strokes, study led by scientist of the Suzhou university says.
When it comes to health, cheese has a bad reputation: its caloric intake is too high, it has a high fat content. However, a study recently published in the European Journal of Nutrition contradicts the popular belief according to which eating cheese is bad for you. In fact, according to the team of scientists, people who indulge in 40g of cheese every day were less likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke, compared to those who rarely or never ate cheese. Risks are respectively reduced by 14 and 10% with said diet.
The study investigated the link between dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese and butter) and coronary diseases – including strokes – as well as heart diseases, such as heart attacks. The Chinese scientists wanted to understand the truth behind a phenomenon called the “French paradox”: the French on average have a cholesterol-and-fat-rich diet, but suffer from fewer heart diseases then others.
Published in the European Journal of Nutrition, researchers at Soochow University, China, evaluated 15 previous studies from Europe and the US which tracked the diet and health outcomes of more than 200,000 people. The Chinese team proved that risks for heart diseases were significantly reduced with a diet including low-fat dairy products and cheese.
They justify their findings by the high levels of “good” cholesterol contained in cheese. While cheese has high saturated fats levels – which are often linked to heart disease – it is also rich in calcium. But thanks to mineral salt, fat absorption by the human body is actually reduced. Another study showed that following a one-year calcium rich diet, patients lost on average 1 kilogram.
Reacting to the study, Ian Givens, Professor of Food Chain Nutrition at Reading University, agreed that calcium from dairy products such as cheese plays a vital role in reducing fat in the body. In addition, cheese contains saturated fatty acids that can help prevent clogging of the arteries. Careful, however, not to rejoice too much: as with every good thing, moderation is pivotal.
This post is also available in: FR (FR)