When it comes to good cheese food, people often say they love it so much they can’t live without it — but worry that it could cause heart disease or unwanted weight gain.
The truth is that cheese is what’s known as a whole food. Whole foods are generally good for you, as long as you don’t eat too much of one thing.
In this article, we’ll give you all the information you need to make healthy choices about eating cheese.
There are many healthy options to choose from when it comes to cheese, and many potential ways it can benefit your health.
It’s a good source of nutrients
Good Cheese food is a great source of calcium, fat, and protein. It also contains high amounts of vitamins A and B12, along with zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin.
According to U.S. Dairy, the overall nutritional profile of conventional, organic, and grass-fed dairy products is similar.
Grass-fed cheese is made from the milk of 100 percent grass-fed animals. A diet high in grass-fed dairy may provide a healthier balanceTrusted Source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids than diets that rely on conventional dairy. Omega-3 fats are important for heart and metabolic health.
It could protect your teeth from cavities
According to some studies, cheese — and dairy products in general — could work to protect your teeth from cavities. In a Danish study from 2015, children with an above-average dairy intake were more likely to be cavity-free after 3 years than those with a below-average intake.
It’s a source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
High-fat cheeses like blue cheese, Brie, and cheddar contain small amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA is a healthy fat that may help prevent Trusted Source obesity and heart disease, and may reduce inflammation.
Cheddar cheese sourced from 100 percent grass-fed animals was found to contain twice as much CLA as conventional cheddar. But it’s not clear whether switching to grass-fed cheese would have overall nutritional benefits in an average U.S. diet.
It could be good for your heart
According to 2018 research Trusted Source, fermented dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, have a positive effect on cardiovascular health. In the same study, full-fat dairy products appeared to provide greater nutrition and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Is a cheese addiction unhealthy?
Knowing the benefits and the risks associated with eating cheese can help you to make more informed choices. Cheese may have undesired effects if it’s contaminated, or if you have certain health conditions or dietary needs.
Soft cheeses and blue-veined cheeses can sometimes become contaminated with listeria, especially if they are made with unpasteurized or “raw” milk. Eating listeria-contaminated foods can cause illness.
Examples of at-risk cheeses include:
- queso fresco
- queso blanco
- queso panela
- blue-veined cheeses
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source recommends avoiding eating soft cheeses unless the label clearly states that the product was made with pasteurized milk. This is especially important for:
- pregnant people
- babies and children
- older adults
- people with immune deficiencies