Scientists: Eating cheese reduces the risk of developing heart disease

Colorful tables of cheese like this Mc Cadam Muenster adorned tables at the American Cheese Society's 2003 judging results

Chinese researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 15 studies from Europe and the USA, which monitored the health effects of cheese consumption in more than 200,000 people.

From their findings, the team found that people who ate a small serving of cheese (about the size of a box of matches) regularly decreased their chances of developing coronary heart disease by 14 percent. Researchers suggest that eating around 40 grams (or 1.41 ounces) of cheese every day could help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Researchers from China and the Netherlands analyzed data gathered from 15 previous studies where numerous participants were tracked for at least 10 years.

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"This is not the same as eating a big slice of cheesy pizza every day", Dr. Allen Stewart of Mount Sinai Medical Center's Ichan School of Medicine clarified. Like other dairy products, it contains a high amount of saturated fat - which has been recently connected to high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and heart disease. This basically means that higher quantities of cheese aren't necessarily better. While it may seem like a lot of the dairy product, it's an average of 36 grams per day, which is slightly less than the amount recommended by researchers. Still, the fact that cheese benefits exist that may outweigh the negatives of saturated fat is encouraging.

So go ahead, unblock all those mouth-watering cheese porn accounts, and erase the guilt of that daily BEC.

"There is some evidence that cheese-as a substitute for milk, for example-may actually have a protective effect on the heart", says Stewart. "But on the upside, a bit of cheese on a cracker doesn't sound unreasonable". Overall, though, the news is good for cheese lovers.

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