Spring 2018 – We all grow up learning the importance of eating our fruits and vegetables. But some intriguing research out of China is raising the question of whether more complete nutritional advice would suggest a daily intake of cheese along with that apple.
The Independent, a UK-based news organization stated: “… that people who regularly ate cheese, amounting to about a matchbox sized portion each day on average, were 14 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease, and their chances of having a stroke were 10 percent lower.”
The optimal consumption was found to be 40 grams a day, or about an ounce and a half. That, in fact, roughly corresponds to the amount of cheese Americans consume annually. It is an important study, though, because it actually finds a positive impact in eating cheese.
The dynamic behind this phenomenon still requires more study, but researchers postulate that the calcium in cheese reduces the absorption of the fat in cheese by the body. Other researchers believe cheese can raise levels of “good” cholesterol but suppress “bad” cholesterol levels, while others point to an acid in cheese that can help prevent the clogging of the arteries.
Obviously more research is desirable and will be done, but the fact that the exact mechanism involved here is unknown is less telling than one might think. If you increase cheese consumption while keeping calories constant, you probably will eat less meat and sugar and other possible dietary negatives.
In any case, we are learning that nutrition is complex and that there are lots of great foods that simply can’t be reduced to their components.
Did you know different types of apples pair best with particular cheeses? The classic Red Delicious is often paired with a nice Cheddar, while a Fuji apple works really nicely with a Blue cheese. Want a list of pairing prepared by our friends in the apple industry? Email me at ApplePairings@CheeseConnoisseur.com, and we will get you a copy right away. CC