It seems Italians are the gifts that just keep on giving. As if giving the world pizza and pasta wasn't enough, Italian scientists have discovered that eating cheese every day can be good for you.
Published in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension, the study suggests eating a certain Italian cheese every day will protect your heart.
In the study, people with high blood pressure who ate one ounce of Grana Padano - a semi-fat hard cheese similar to Parmigiano Reggiano - daily for two months improved their systolic blood pressure (the top number) by 7 to 8 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) and their diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) by 5 to 7 mm Hg.
In comparison, those who ate an imitation, fake-dairy version of the cheese saw no improvement in their blood pressure readings.
Lead study author, Dr. Giuseppe Crippa, explains that Grana Padano contains two compounds called isoleucine-proline-proline (IPP) and valine-proline-proline (VPP), which can relax your blood vessels to lower your blood pressure.
While the study's findings is excellent news for your heart, it's not an excuse to go cheese-crazy, says Dr. Crippa.
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It's important to remember that all cheese contains fat and salt often with high levels of kilojoules, so make sure you don't overdo it in your diet. Dr. Crippa recommends subbing in one ounce of Grana Padano - roughly the size of two dice - for a serving of dairy you're already having each day.
More research needs to be conducted to see if other cheeses, like parmigiano for example, have the same benefits, Crippa says.