7 Reasons You Can Have Your Cheese and Eat it Too!
‘Tis the time of resolutions, many of which involve abstaining from foods that are considered indulgent or potentially adding to our waistlines. If you love cheese AND you are making that kind of resolution, we have really good news for you. Cheese actually has a lot of health benefits, enough that it might move off your naughty list.
1. Cheese can help you stay slim/lose weight.
It’s called the “French Paradox.” How do the French stay thin despite their rich diets? Looks like cheese, not wine, might be part of the answer. Danish researchers found that people who eat cheese have a different composition of gut bacteria, which may help prevent obesity and increase metabolism.
Here’s why: Aged cheeses have a substance called butyrate, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid that can increase energy production and may help boost metabolism. More good news: Eating cheese helps encourage the bacteria in our gut to make even more butyrate, so it’s a double win.
But not all cheese is created equal. Those American cheese slices aren’t going to help with your waistline. Aged cheeses have higher amounts of butyrate than fresh ones. So go for the aged cheddar, Parmigiano Reggiano or Gruyere.
2. Cheese may help prevent cancer.
Even more good news. One study suggests that the metabolism boosting butyrate may also protect against colon cancer by nourishing the cells of your colon and reducing that inflammation that can damage the colon over time.
3. Cheese may help prevent strokes and heart disease.
A new review of research suggests that people who ate a little bit of cheese every day were less likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke, compared to those who rarely or never ate cheese.
4. Cheese is good for building muscle.
Skip the nasty protein powder and opt for some protein-packed cheese instead. You remember “curds and whey” of course from your childhood. Well, that whey (the byproduct of cheese) is packed full of protein. That’s why you see “whey protein” on so many of those protein powders.
Go straight to the source with real cheese. Looking to grow lots of muscle fast? Opt for Ricotta and cottage cheese. But know that all cheeses are rich in protein so you really can’t go wrong.
5. Cheese is good for your bones.
We’ve all heard that milk is good for your bones, but the latest research shows that too much calcium (like milk has) can actually lead to fractures. BUT, fermented dairy, like cheese, has less calcium and is rich in Vitamin K2, which strengthens bones and lowers fracture rates. Stay away from the processed “cheese products” though to maximize this benefit.
6. Eating cheese may prevent cavities
Do you drink coffee, tea, wine, soda, and so on? If so, you may want to up your cheese consumption. Turns out the cheese protects your teeth from erosion. The calcium and phosphorous found in cheese neutralizes plaque acid by increasing the alkaline level of your mouth/teeth, which protects the teeth again erosion. They also found that eating cheese created a protective layer around teeth which kept remaining acid at bay and helped protect the enamel.
7. Cheese could ward off diabetes
Go on, snack on that chunk of cheese. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a potential link between daily consumption of cheese and a reduced risk of diabetes. Mind you, milk and ice cream didn’t have the same effect. It’s the cheese, cheese lovers. Once again we have butyrate to thanks. Experts suspect that butyrate may help human bodies use insulin more effectively too, in its managing of blood-sugar levels.”
Long story short: you don’t need to give up cheese as part of your New Year’s resolution. In fact, evidence suggests you shouldn’t. Happy 2018!