I start with the question is cheese good for you because there has been this long standing debate about the health benefits of cheese.
Last week Tucker Carlson of Fox News had this as a topic with his guest Brett Farve, the Hall of Fame quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Here is the video link:
It’s a short and entertaining discussion. But it got me thinking about this question:
Is Cheese Good For You?
So I did a Google search to find the answer. And yes, certain types of cheese are extremely beneficial to your health. Let’s examine what I found.
Because cheese is an animal product, many have tagged it as “not being helpful to your health.” However, good research in this area doesn’t support this tag.
First off, cheese is a good source for both calcium and protein. Below is an image that I copied from Inside Tracker showing the protein content of 1 ounce of various sources of cheese.
As you can see Parmesan has the highest amount at almost 9 grams of protein. Most of the other common cheeses are in the 5 to 6 grams per ounce category.
One of the concerns about cheese is its effect on LDL or bad cholesterol. This type of cholesterol deserves a complete article in itself. Let me just state that LDL cholesterol is not the cause for concern. The concern is oxidized LDL cholesterol. More on this in another article.
In two separate and randomized controlled studies that looked at the effects of regular-fat cheese on cholesterol levels, the following was observed:
Neither fat-free (50g serving) nor regular-fat (80 g serving) cheese increased total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, or triglycerides.
Bottom line was that 8 weeks of daily consumption of regular-fat cheese did not have any effect on cholesterol levels in the test subjects.
And when cheese in examined in large epidemiological studies, there has been no association of cheese consumption to increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, or most cancers. The only exception to this is a potential increased risk for prostate cancer in men.
But to offset this potential health concern, cheese may actually lower the risk for cardiovascular disease.
As I’ve shared in previous articles, the root cause of most health issues is inflammation. Over half of the studies done on cheese show that it helps to reduce inflammation. The other half show no effect on inflammation. And only a very same sampling of studies show any increase in inflammation due to cheese consumption.
From my research, the only concerns I found about cheese are the following:
Sodium Content – If you need to watch your salt or sodium intake, then here is the rule of thumb. Hard cheeses usually have a higher amount of sodium then soft and fresh cheeses.
Lactose – This is a form of sugar found in cheese. Some people do not have the enzymes in their body to properly break down this form of sugar. This can cause dietary distress.
Casein – This is a protein found in milk and some people are allergic to this protein.
If none of these issues apply to you, then cheese might be a great addition to your meals. Research shows that 1 to 2 servings per day (50 – 80 grams) can help support a person’s goal for optimal health.
Here are some additional links to helpful articles to answer the question is cheese good for you:
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