Experts, however, warn that this is not linear - in short, the study does not mean that people should start consuming blocks of cheese to prevent heart disease.
Nibbling on cheese a little bit a day helps keep heart disease at bay, researchers found.
Researchers suggest that eating a small amount of cheese every day may benefit heart health.More news: Strong winds expected in some counties as Storm Caroline impacts Ireland
Researchers from Soochow University in China studied 15 experiments from Europe and the U.S. which tracked the diet and health outcomes of over 200,000 people.
While low-fat dairy products are considered more favorable than high-fat dairy products by federal nutrition guidelines, the meta-analysis found limited evidence that high-fat dairy could increase the risk of CVD, CHD, or stroke compared to low-fat dairy. He also cautions against reading too much into data that's self-reported-as much of the data was-because people tend to over- or under-estimate their consumption of specific foods. This group was 14 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease and 10 percent less likely to have a stroke. This means that while the researchers had no proof that the cheese consumption caused the lower levels of heart disease, those who ate cheese regularly were less likely to be the same people who had heart disease. Those with the lowest risks of these illnesses were those who consumed around 40 grams a day of cheese - a quantity around the size of a book of matches.
Stewart points out that the study was only able to find an association between cheese consumption and decreased risk of heart disease, rather than a cause-and-effect relationship.More news: Conyers' son was arrested for earlier this year for allegedly attacking girlfriend
But it's also possible that cheese has beneficial qualities that offset the negative impact of its high saturated fat content, says Stewart.
But cheese also has its health benefits, like high levels of calcium and protein, and has probiotics that are good for the body, as well. One portion is 40 grams (1.4 oz), which represents a matchbox-sized chunk, two slim slices or a quarter cup of crumbled cheese, according to The Independent.
"We're always are searching for ways to minimize heart disease and reduce atherosclerosis", said Allan Stewart, director of aortic surgery at Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center.More news: FSU Football introduces Willie Taggart as new head coach
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