Every now and then I’ll do something like buy a bottle of expensive wine that I can’t really afford and then invite a friend over to share it with.

But you can’t just have some wine in, can you? There needs to be something to eat so you can trick yourself into thinking that you’re not just binging.

The go-to is obviously cheese. Lovely, delicious cheese in all its shapes and forms is the perfect addition to an afternoon of wine that you shouldn’t be drinking.

The only issue being that I’ve been led to believe that making a day of eating cheese and drinking wine consists of two things bad for my health, i.e. the cheese and the wine. People are always saying how bad cheese is for you – and anything dairy-based, for that matter – and the alcohol issue speaks for itself.

But it looks like my woes may have halved, since it turns out that cheese could actually be pretty good for you! And this isn’t coming from just anyone – there’s science involved…

A study was published in the medical journal The Lancet, in which researchers from McMaster University in Canada looked at 130,000 people from 21 different countries from ages 35 to 70.

Their diets were monitored and they were then separated into two separate groups – reduced-fat dairy and full-fat dairy.

As it turned out, people who consumed two-or-more servings of processed cows milk equated to seeing major decreases in their risk of a stroke and cardiovascular disease. Naturally the results aren’t exclusive to cheese, and similar benefits can be seen by consuming yogurt and milk.

As for the people studied who ate less than 0.5 servings of dairy a day, their mortality rate rose to 44.4%, with cardiovascular disease playing a 5% role in that.

Ian Givens, a professor of food chain nutrition at Reading University, said the study goes a long way into changing to public perception of dairy, saying:

It also adds weight to the evidence that saturated fats from dairy are not associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, unlike some other sources.

Meanwhile, Mahshid Dehghan, an investigator at the Nutrition Epidemiology program at the Population Health Research Institute of McMaster University and lead author on this study echoed Givens’ sentiment, explaining:

Dairy products contain a range of potentially beneficial compounds including specific amino acids, medium-chain and odd-chain saturated fats, milk fat globule phospholipids, unsaturated and branched-chain fats, natural trans fats, vitamin K1/K2, and calcium, and can further be fermented or contain probiotics, many of which may also affect health outcomes.

It goes without saying that you shouldn’t now go around eating exclusively pizza and fondue, but it probably wouldn’t hurt as much as you first thought…

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