It melts, it stretches, it can be grated or sliced, and it tastes delicious.
It’s loaded with fat and salt and other “unhealthy” ingredients.
But now, contrary to conventional advice, researchers at Pennsylvania State University have discovered that it’s extremely heart healthy and lowers blood pressure.
The British Journal of Nutrition published this surprising study in August, 2016.
This study originated from three seemingly inconsistent facts:
1. A high salt intake causes high blood pressure.
2. Dairy cheese contains a lot of salt.
3. People who consume a lot of dairy cheese do not have higher blood pressure than those who avoid it.
In response, a research team decided to feed their study volunteers three salty foods to check whether their arteries responded differently to salt when consumed in cheese as opposed to other salty food sources.
On five separate occasions, three days apart, they fed their 14 participants either 85 grams of dairy cheese, 85 grams of soy cheese, or 65 grams of pretzels.
They then used special laser to measure how much blood flowed through the subject’s arteries and how much nitric oxide was present. Nitric oxide widens arteries but salt tends to reduce it. That’s the reason salt causes high blood pressure.
Pretzel and soya cheese eaters had significantly less blood flow and less nitric oxide present than the dairy cheese eaters.
In fact, the dairy cheese seemed to promote nitric oxide and help counteract any salt intake in that meal. But it does not lower chronic blood pressure buildup for years before.