This just in – cheese could be the secret to living a long, healthy life. You’ll want to stop whatever it is you’re doing to hear us out here.
I’ve never met cheese I didn’t like, whether it’s on my burger, my salad, or just a little block straight from the fridge or deli.
New research, straight from Nature Medicine, an academic research journal, suggests that eating cheese may actually help you live longer. You heard it straight from the horse’s mouth folks – cheese may be the secret to immortality. That delicious parmesan on your pasta, the mozzarella in your fried cheese stick, the cheddar on your turkey sandwich – all of them could lead to you living a longer, healthier life.
The study shows that consuming spermidine, a compound found in aged cheese, can help you to live longer. Originally tested on rats and mice, spermidine was found to increase their average lifespan.
Then, they surveyed 800 Italians about their diets (which is full of delicious, delicious cheese), and discovered that those who have a higher intake of the compound were found to have lower blood pressure and lower risks of heart failure – by about 40%, so that’s pretty stellar. They also found that those who consume higher intakes of cheese have reduced risk of developing other cardiovascular diseases. Basically, eating cheese, according to the study, reduces the risk of high blood pressure or heart failure, both of which are leading causes of death in men and women.
One thing to remember, however, before you feast on an epic cheese board, is that cheese does tend to be high in fat. This would actually cancel out the spermidine, which can also be found in healthier foods.
Other foods that contain high levels of spermidine include: peas, corn, whole grains, and soybeans, all of which are not cheese, but are probably significantly healthier. (Just don’t go putting peas and soybeans on your pizza, we’re not barbarians).
You can even consider lower-fat cheeses, like parmesan (yum), mozzarella (also yum), camembert (exceedingly yum), and Neufchatel – a type of light cream cheese (incredibly yum!). All of these cheeses are equally as addictive as cheddar and can be used as substitutes on a grilled cheese sandwich.
If four options of “healthy” cheese just doesn’t cut it for you, you can add goat cheese and feta to the list too. Feta will take your salad from good to epic, while grilled goat cheese will remind you why we were placed on earth in the first place. Awesome.
Sticking to one to three portions of cheese a week is highly recommended by doctors, but allow the feeling of guilt if you happen to go a little overboard on any given day, you’re only human after all!
So, clearly there’s a lot you can take home from this scientific discovery, including a block of cheese from your local grocery store.
Enjoy your cheese fries, grilled cheese toastie, mozzarella sticks, pizza,