Health And Wellness

How Cheese Can Make You Skinnier, According To Research

Photo: New Africa | Shutterstock
grabbing cheese from cheese board

When people are trying to lose weight they pose the (nearly impossible) task of restraining themselves from the yummiest stuff in life: pasta, chocolate, and especially cheese. But good news! It looks like you no longer have to avoid your precious Gouda/mozzarella/parmesan in order to reach your fitness goals.

Great news, cheese makes you skinnier, according to research.

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Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark noticed that the French certainly indulge in a fair amount of cheese, yet they're healthier than their other European counterparts. 

The French have fewer cases of coronary heart disease and a life expectancy of 82 years (all while eating 23.9kg of cheese per year) whereas, Brits suffer twice as much from cardiovascular disease with a life expectancy of 81, but eat 11.6kg each year. The weird disconnect has been dubbed "The French Paradox."

French women enjoy the joint-longest life expectancy in Europe, at 85.3 years, against 82.3 years for British women.

Hanne Bertram, a food scientist at Aarhus University in Denmark, tested out her theory by comparing urine and fecal samples from 15 men whose diets either contained cheese or milk or ate a diet with butter but no other dairy products.

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She found that those who ate cheese had higher levels of butyric acid, a compound that has been linked to reduced obesity and higher metabolism.

The higher butyrate levels were linked to a reduction in cholesterol. And If that's not amazing enough, red wine consumption is ALSO good for you.

So what gives? Are Parisians just freaks of nature? Not so much.

"Observations indicate that consumption of red wine alone cannot explain the paradox and perhaps some other constituents of the typical French diet could be responsible for reduced cardiovascular mortality," say researchers of a related study. "We hypothesize that cheese consumption, especially of molded varieties may contribute to the occurrence of the French paradox."

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Those scientists discovered that French cheese, known for its mold and green veins, has specific anti-inflammatory properties

Using new technology, the researchers found the anti-inflammatory properties worked their best when the cheese, one of the world’s oldest, ripened.

The properties of blue cheese, which is most commonly aged in southern France, were found to work best in acidic environments of the body, such as the lining of the stomach or the skin surface.

Acidification is also a common process accompanying inflammation such as in joints affected by arthritis or special plaque on an artery wall.

On that note, pardon us while we go on a much-needed grocery run and decide to invest in a dairy farm as well.

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Nicole Weaver is a senior writer for Showbiz Cheat Sheet whose work has been featured in New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and more.