Can You Say Cheese?

cheeseI love it! Yet another formerly frowned-upon food stuff may be returned to favor by nutritionists.­­­­­­­­ TIME just ran an online piece by Mandy Oaklander titled “Here’s Your New Science-Backed Reason to Eat More Cheese.” And my reaction is: “Yay!” Not that I ever stopped eating the stuff but maybe now I won’t feel guilty doing it. TIME writes, “Americans have long been bewildered by the French paradox: that despite consuming a dream diet full of cheese, baguettes and red wine, people in France have generally low rates of coronary heart disease. By some estimates, the average French person eats 57 pounds of cheese each year – more than any other country – while the average American eats a measly 34.” Theories vary about the lucky French and their dietary habits (well, excepting snails; it takes a LOT of wine before I’ll eat them, delicious as the sauce may be) including the beneficial effects of resveratrol in red wine. Another reason for French people’s good fortune, according to TIME, points to a growing number of experts who say “that we were wrong – or at least partially wrong – to condemn saturated fat as a primary cause of heart disease. A small new study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests yet another delicious possibility: cheese.” Admittedly, the study was small and funded in part by a Danish food company that produces dairy products and the Danish Dairy Research Foundation, but who cares? Cheese is good for you, it says. I’ll let you explore for yourself if you wish the rather graphic descriptions of what the bacteria from cheese and also milk do when they reach your gut. Suffice it to say, as TIME does, “The study adds a new dimension to our understanding how fermented milk products interact with the body.” I’m telling you, there’s no end to this good food news. First it was eggs, yokes and all, and then nuts that made it back into foodies’ good graces. As someone who can’t stay interested long enough to understand what the word “probiotics” actually means, I’m feeling somewhat vindicated in trying to follow a normal, sensible diet of good, mostly nutritious food and adhering to Oscar Wilde’s advice of “everything in moderation, including moderation.” But the day I hear that Pringles Sour Cream and Chives-flavored potato chips have been added to the Food & Drug Administration’s recommended basic food groups, I will know nirvana has indeed been achieved. Photo:

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