If you are a dairy enthusiast, this is going to come as no surprise to you, but it will probably delight you all the same: researchers from Penn State University have found that eating cheese could possibly be linked to having a positive effect on your heart!
Apparently, even though they aren't exactly sure what, precisely, in milk proteins and dairy fats actually is beneficial to your cardiovascular system, they are pretty dang sure that they help increase blood flow in the body, which only sounds good to us!
Researchers conducted what sounds like the tastiest experiment of all time, whereby participants were asked to snack on servings of pretzels and soy cheese, and then plain ol' animal-based cheese, each of which contained the same amount of sodium. Next all participants took blood pressure tests.
Apparently, those who ate real cheese had better blood pressure than those who noshed on the soy variety -- which means that dairy actually cancels out the high sodium inherent in many cheeses!
Is anybody else side-eyeing the cheesy pizza-delivery number taped on their wall? Only me? Okay.
"It could be the lactotripeptides in the cheese that act on the blood vessels to promote health or the fat in dairy that makes consuming dairy healthy but no one knows why dairy is good yet," said Anna Stanhewicz, a Penn State graduate-kinesiology researcher. But although the study suggested the dairy in cheese outweighed the sodium, she admits that the study also only measured short-term effects of eating cheese.
"We want to know how eating this diet will affect people over time," Stanhewicz said.
The researchers are reportedly currently conducting another similar study; however, they will be extending the time frame to more accurately assess whether dairy consistently can counteract sodium in cheese products.
“We hope to see what happens when people have long-term diets with cheese and the effects it has on a person’s health,” concluded Lacy Alexander, a researcher in the Department of Kinesiology at Penn State.