Eating Cheese Is Good for Your Heart Now, Apparently

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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

There’s nothing I like more than waking up to news that science has declared a delicious food to be very healthy. Whenever a new study comes out saying that wine can help you lose weight or drinking coffee may help prevent heart disease, I’m thrilled. Now a new study says eating cheese every day might actually help reduce the risk of heart disease, but this news might actually be too good to be true.

According to a new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, people who ate cheese every day were less likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke, compared with people who do not eat cheese, or who eat it only occasionally.

Cheese contains protein, calcium, and probiotics, and researchers say those nutrients could be providing heart health benefits.

The idea that cheese could be healthy is fantastic! I mean, nobody in the world wants this to be true as much as I do. I was ready to put together a cheese plate as soon as I read the headline. Unfortunately, the study does not actually give us permission to eat a whole wheel of brie every day and call it health food, because the amount of cheese associated with these health benefits is actually very small.

The people who benefitted the most in the study ate only 40 grams of cheese every day. Forty grams of cheese is tiny. A one-inch cube of Parmesan is about 30 grams. A Kraft single slice is 20 grams, which means a good grilled cheese sandwich would take you well past 40 grams.

Beyond 40 grams of cheese, the health benefits appeared to shrink as more cheese was eaten. By the time a person ate 80 grams of cheese a day, the benefits had basically disappeared. So long, giant cheese wheel for one.

It’s still pretty cool that tiny amounts of cheese are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular heart disease. It just so happens that 40 grams of cheese is the size of two of those little Babybel cheeses with the red wax around them, which would go well with the glass of red wine that science says is good for the heart. Happy hour is settled!