Cheese is one of those foods that people can't seem to agree on, health-wise.
Researchers from Soochow University in China studied 15 experiments from Europe and the USA which tracked the diet and health outcomes of over 200,000 people.
There is good news for lactose lovers, researchers have found that a little bit of cheese every day might be good for you.
While cheese contains some nutrients that are beneficial to health - such as, zinc, and A and B-12 - it is also, which can increase levels and raise the risk of and.
A 40 gram square, about the size of matchbox, was the sweet spot for health benefits.
"We found that high, compared with low, cheese consumption was significantly associated with 10-14% lower risks of CVD and its subgroups", researchers wrote.
For their study, Qin and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 15 observational studies that investigated how cheese consumption influenced the total risk of CVD, as well as the risks of (CHD) and stroke.
The new study, however, suggests that this popular dairy product could have the opposite effect on cardiovascular health.
A recent study of over 200,00 people showed that those who ate a small amount of cheese daily had a lower risk of contracting heart disease, compared to those who rarely or never ate the stuff, New York Daily News reports. It could be that people who eat cheese on a daily basis are healthier overall, or have more disposable income and higher socioeconomic statuses.
But don't stock up on the Cheddar just yet; both studies have their own limitations. Researchers didn't specify whether one type of cheese was better than the rest.
However, it is hard to conclude whether these associations had any influence on the study results.
It's important to understand that the relationship between higher cheese consumption and lower risk of heart disease and stroke is U-shaped rather than linear. The two primary exceptions are ayurveda, which embraces the milk by-product, and the of-the-moment keto diet, which relies on such a high-fat intake that cheese becomes practically a necessity.