Health Benefits of Cheese:
Cheese Containing Saturated Fat & Health
By Holly Easton, DO
Yes, it looks like these go together. For the past 30+ years, Americans have been advised to follow a ‘low fat diet’ as one of the keys to avoiding heart disease. So we have and we find ourselves more obese and with an increase in type 2 diabetes. Has the incidence of heart disease in the US been diminished? Well, not exactly…
The American Heart Association states in their 2013 report, that “Rates of Death Attributable to CVD Have Declined, but the Burden of Disease Remains High”.
The scientific and medical communities are examining the many factors that appear to play into where we now find ourselves. What is agreed upon is that our ever expanding waistlines are from both diet and sedentary lifestyles.
It is looking like one of those diet factors has been the substitution of simple carbohydrates, (sweet foods and drinks, or processed foods with a high glycemic index), for fat.
So fat is getting another look and it appears it is not the dietary demon it was made out to be. Saturated fat is one of the types of
dietary fat. It is in cheese made from whole milk.
What it is:
*a macronutrient used by the body to absorb the fat soluble vitamins: A, D, E, & K
*an ingredient necessary for the functions of many organ systems including: lungs, heart, bones, immune system, brain and nervous system
*the type of fat primarily found in animal food sources: eggs, whole milk dairy products, meat. It is also found in the tropical oils:
coconut, palm, palm kernel as well as cocoa butter
*a calorie dense fuel source, containing 9 calories per gram
*a fat that raises the ‘large, fluffy’ type A, LDL particles
*a fat that can raise your HDL or ‘good’ type of cholesterol
What it is not:
*monounsaturated (a good type of fat found in avocados, olives, nuts)
*polyunsaturated (a type of fat considered good when it is predominantly comprised of omega 3 fatty acids. Oily, cold water fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring and mackerel, contain this type of fat as well as some plants like flaxseed)
*partially hydrogenated (a bad type of fat, which contains trans fatty acids and is a synthetic ingredient found in many processed foods)
*a fat that raises the bad type of LDL, type B, which is the ‘small dense’ LDL particle (these appear to be raised by carbohydrate
*the independent risk factor for heart disease it has been made out to be. So put down the sweet food, sweet drink , or processed food and have a piece of cheese.
It can do you good!
Disclaimer: This article is an overview of the changing data regarding saturated fat and heart healthy diet recommendations. It is not medical advice. For optimal health, discuss your eating and exercise habits with your physician.
J Nutr. 2015 Oct 28. pii: jn220699. [Epub ahead of print]
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