Eating cheese daily may improve your heart health

Eating cheese daily may improve your heart health

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STUDY AFTER study, cheese’s reputation has constantly improved.

Depending upon the type, cheese has been shown to lower blood pressure, contain vast amounts of nutrients and protein, and, according to a newer study, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

But before you start shotgunning Cheez Whiz, it’s important to peruse the finer details of the European Journal of Nutrition‘s study. People who consumed “high levels” of cheese had a 14% lower risk of developing coronary heart disease than those who rarely or never ate it. They were also 10% less likely to have a stroke.

As is often the case, this is only a correlation and not necessarily an instance of causation. Those judicial about their cheese-eating could simply be more health-conscious overall. In other words: It’s very possible that cheese consumption isn’t making people healthier, it’s just a characteristic of a healthy and balanced diet.

If, however, you’re considering which cheese to indulge, you may want to refer to this list:

The best high-protein cheeses, ranked

YES, YOU CAN have your cheese and stay fit, too.

According to sports dietitian Christina Strudwick, M.S., C.S.S.D., founder of The Fueled Athlete, “Cheese can be part of a healthy lifestyle when it’s unprocessed and eaten in moderation.” Just think natural (like everything from our favorite family of cheesemakers—the BelGioiosos).

That’s not all. “Cheese has lots of nutrients, like filling protein and bone-building calcium,” says dietitian Amy Gorin, R.D.N.

Its biggest plus is by far its protein content. Swiss, cheddar, and mozzarella have 7–8g per oz, which can help pack on muscle. Hard cheeses can also lower blood pressure—especially Grana Padano, a new study has found. And ricotta is packed with whey, the most satiating of all proteins.

Finally, always go for quality cheeses. Just watch the quantity, and err on the side of “Damn, that tasted great,” not “Damn, I can’t buckle my belt.”

“The harder cheeses tend to contain more protein per serving,” Strudwick says. Here, she’s indicated the varieties highest and lowest in protein down to grams per ounce so you can snack smart.