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Essay on Cheese Consumption


Cheese is a consumable product, categorized as a dairy product, that is produced on the bases of different flavors and textures from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, or buffalo (Kapoor, R., & Metzger, L. E. 2008). The International Dairy Federation has recognized over five hundred types of cheese in the world (Fox, P. F. et al, 2017). Cheese is among the ancient food forms in the European believed to have been in consumption in the past 7000 years BC realized in the ancient civilization era when agriculture was on the rise especially sheep and goat keeping for their milk (Kapoor, R., & Metzger, L. E. 2008).

According to the agricultural outlook 2020 to 2029 (Pokorný, J., & Franěk, P. 2021) produced by the collective effort of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nation and the Economic Co-operation Development (OECD), the cheese market globally is estimated at $100 billion and its consumption in the world has an increase estimation of 13.8% between 2020 to 2029 (OECD/FAO, 2020). The Agricultural outlook report produced in 2020 holds that cheese consumption is rising in countries where it was traditionally consumed due to the westernization that is affecting the diet of different nations. Statista shows that Europe consumes the highest level of cheese per capita followed by the United States and Canada (Fox, P. F. et al, 2017).

With more innovation in the agricultural field, processed cheese and analog cheese have been introduced to the market. Processed cheese is produced by blending the natural cheese with other dairy or non-dairy products (Kapoor, R., & Metzger, L. E. 2008). The analog cheese is produced with no or minimal milk content where the milk protein in the natural cheese is partially or completely replaced with non-milk components (Kapoor, R., & Metzger, L. E. 2008). This essay points out the health benefits of cheese consumption and the potential health risk associated with cheese consumption, especially in adults with the longer-term cardiovascular disease risk.

Health Benefits of Cheese Consumption

  1. Cheese consumption boosts the bone health

Cheese contains calcium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins A, D, and K components which are essential for healthy bone nourishment. Osteoporosis is a disease, commonly diagnosed in women after menopause, which causes the deterioration in bone health due to the loss of essential minerals over time thus creating a high risk of bone fracture (Millar, C. L. et al, 2021). The report by FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on Vitamin and Mineral Requirement in Human Nutrition (FAO, W. 2004) reviled calcium requirements vary in different nations due to foods consumed, lifestyle, and genetic factors, but more cases of osteoporotic among the elderly are observed in countries with minimal calcium mineral consumption of lower than 400mg per day. In addition, the report pointed out that nations with high bone fracture cases among the elderly can minimize them by raising vitamin D and calcium dietary in the country The U.S Dietary Guidelines for America has recommended dairy product consumption for osteoporosis prevention since dairy products like cheese are easily accessible and avail essential bone nutrients like calcium, zinc, magnesium, proteins, phosphorus, and potassium per energy unit compared to other foods (Millar, C. L. et al, 2021).

  1. Cheese consumption enhances dental health

The calcium found in cheese is important in the process of tooth formation and general dental health. A study by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) (Pflipsen, M., & Zenchenko, Y. 2017) shows that drinks that we commonly take like coffee, tea, soda, and wine facilitate erosion of enamel, the thin outer covering of a tooth especially the crown visible from the gums, due to the acidity content in these drinks. The AGD (Pflipsen, M., & Zenchenko, Y. 2017) study recommends cheese consumption to help guard pearly white teeth against the acid erosion resulting from the drinks. According to the study, normally the mouth is of low pH acidic level and consumption of the mentioned drinks cause the acidic level to go down thus hurting the tooth enamel. Although naturally the saliva acts as a neutralizing agent and helps the attainment of the required pH level after one takes a meal or drink, cheese consumption boosts the pH attainment process in the mouth. AGD reviled that it only takes 30 minutes for cheese content to enhance the pH after consumption because cheese contains a component called sialogogue which stimulates salvation; hence saliva neutralizes the pH levels to a normal level. Another component found in cheese is casein phosphate essential for teeth strengthening and formation (Pflipsen, M., & Zenchenko, Y. 2017).

  1. Cheese consumption help in muscle building

Cheese is a source of protein, fats, and phosphorus. Regular consumption of cheese can help boost muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in your body. Many bodybuilders and athletes consume cottage cheese since it has components like whey and casein proteins which are essential for muscle building and recovery after a workout (Walther, B. et al, 2008). Whey is a pure protein made up of branched-amino acids which assist in the nourishment of muscles and repair the skin and tissues when wounded or after surgery (Walther, B. et al, 2008).

  1. Cheese consumption helps prevent preeclampsia that affects pregnant women

Preeclampsia is a condition where pregnant women develop high blood pressure which can affect the fetus and, in some incidences, causes miscarriage. Pregnant women can take cheese with low sodium and fat content like Swiss cheese. Cheese consumption by pregnant women supplements calcium minerals in their bodies thus minimizing the risk of preeclampsia (Walther, B. et al, 2008). In the United States (Thomas, M., & Weisman, S. M. 2006), 1 out of 25 women is affected by preeclampsia, and some end up miscarrying or having a premature birth. Consuming up to 2000mg of calcium per day can help reduce the causes of hypertension during pregnancy (Thomas, M., & Weisman, S. M. 2006).

The relation between cheese consumption and cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular diseases are the leading in death causes worldwide (Thomas H. et al, 2018). Results from different studies on cheese consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease depend on the population sample used, its lifestyle, and the research design used in the study. When dealing with the risk of having cardiovascular diseases as a result of cheese consumption the component of cheese commonly mentioned is saturated fats content. Most people assume since cheese has a high content of saturated fats, its consumption is associated with a high risk of cardiovascular diseases (Alexander, D et al, 2016). On the contrary, some epidemiological studies have proven the cardio-protective effect associated with cheese consumption despite the fat component. Such results can be explained by the fact that cheese is composed of other components like calcium, potassium, proteins, and vitamins apart from saturated fats content which contributes to cardiovascular health (Alexander, D et al, 2016). Below are some examples of studies conducted in different nations concerning cheese consumption and its potential risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Cheese consumption was concluded to have a 16% decrease in cardiovascular disease risk and a 9% decrease in stroke risk in twenty-two prospective cohort studies conducted in Asia (Qin LQ et al, 2015). Meta-analysis research, (Hu D. et al, 2014) showed cheese consumption contributed to a 6% decrease in stroke risk. Another meta-analysis research that had eighteen studies concluded that milk and cheese intake lowered the risk of the stroke where individual consumption of 125g of milk in a day led to a 16% reduction in stroke risk and 25g of cheese consumption per day lead to 9% stroke risk reduction (De Goede J. et al, 2016). In 2017, a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies indicated that cheese consumption had a cardioprotective effect. The study showed a 10% decrease in cardiovascular diseases risk, 14% decrease in coronary heart diseases risk, and 10% decrease in stroke risk as a result of cheese consumption (Chen GC. et al, 2017).

The above studies indicate a beneficial relationship between cheese consumption and the riskiness of cardiovascular diseases. The favorable relation between the two elements can be explained by the constitution of cheese which has a direct health benefit on the cardiovascular area thus neutralizing the negative effect on blood lipids and cardiovascular parameters arising from saturated fats (Palmer CR. et al, 2020). For instance, bioactive peptides from cheese intake can interfere with blood clotting, effective endothelial functioning, cause arterial stiffening and inflammation. At the same time, Vitamin K found in cheese contains vitamin K2 which minimizes the riskiness of heart diseases via impacts on inflammation, blood calcium regulation, and clotting (Palmer CR. et al, 2020). In addition, the interaction of cheese components like calcium, phosphorus, and fat globule when consumed modify saturated fatty acids taken leading to a rise in blood lipids which assist in eliminating excess cholesterol in the body (Feeney EL. et al, 2021). This explains why fats consumed in form of cheese have a different effect on the blood lipids compared to other foods containing fats (Feeney EL. et al, 2021). Moreover, the total fatty acids profile in cheese bears a favorable effect on the riskiness of heart disease due to the existence of conjugated linoleic acid and trans palmitoleic acid. Trans palmitoleic acid assists in reducing the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance. Conjugated linoleic acid assists in minimizing the belly fats thus building body muscles.

Little research is found on the potential effects of cheese consumption on adults with long-term cardiovascular disease risk. The American Heart Association (AHA) (Lichtenstein et al, 2006) recommends that individuals with a history of cardiovascular disease and those who are overweight or obese limit their consumption of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and added sugar in their diets. The AHA (Lichtenstein et al, 2006) also notes that such people should avoid excessive cheese consumption with saturated fats because it may increase the risk of stroke, heart failure, and other cardiovascular conditions. The Heart Foundation in Australia (Briffa et al, 2006) recommends individuals at high risk of cardiovascular diseases or those with existing heart diseases should consume cheese with low fats content since cheese with high-fat content can raise cholesterol levels for these people. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Astrup, A. 2014) advises that one should the level of cheese consumption that not to exceed and give the body other crucial macronutrients foods to avoid obesity. The council, (Astrup, A. 2014) also recommends 5 types of cheese that are healthy for adults with cardiovascular disease risk due to their low calories and sodium content. They include; cottage cheese, feta cheese, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, and ricotta cheese (Astrup, A. 2014).

Potential Health Risks Associated with Cheese Consumption

  1. Lactose intolerance

Lactose intolerance is a condition that arises due small intestine producing too little lactase which is an enzyme that helps in digesting milk products. Cheese contains lactose which can lead to lactose intolerance for people with low lactase enzyme production (Sieber et al, 1997). Lactose intolerance caused diarrhea, cramps, stomach upset which led to discomfort. When cheese is consumed by individuals with low lactase enzyme, the lactose in cheese fails to be absorbed completely thus remains in the small intestines and causes symptoms associated with lactose intolerance such as bloating and flatulence (Sieber et al, 1997).

  1. Cheese consumption is associated with the risk of prostate cancer

Consumption of cheese is associated with a high risk of various cancers mainly for the reproductive system in women. Cheese intake is linked with high IGF-1 growth which is an insulin-like factor and helps in managing the impacts of growth hormone in the body (Ahn et al, 2007). The Physicians Health Study, (Chan et al, 2001) discovered a higher risk of prostate cancer among those taking more cheese. The study reviled that most women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer were taking cheese with high-fat content. The results can be explained by the high IGF-1 which facilitates growth hormone which is stored in form of fat making more estrogen in the body hence the high riskiness of breast cancer. Additionally, cheese intake can lead to ovarian cancer development. The breakdown of lactose in cheese after consumption into more galactose facilitates the development of ovarian cancer since the galactose is toxic to the ovarian cells (Ahn et al, 2007). The British Journal of Cancer, (Mommers et al, 2006) in their study established women with lactose intolerance who avoid cheese intake have a lower risk of breast, ovarian, and lung cancer. The research concluded that avoiding excessive cheese consumption will minimize extra hormones in the body hence reducing the risk of prostate cancer in the body (Ahn et al, 2007).

Ways of Ensuring Healthier Cheese Consumption

Adults with long-term cardiovascular disease risk should consider the fat and calories content in the type of cheese they consume (Alexander, D et al, 2016). Cheese with low-fat saturation and calories like mozzarella and ricotta can be taken by these adults. Incorporating other nutritious food while taking cheese helps in maintaining a healthy cheese consumption (Millar, C. L. et al, 2021). To acquire the nutrients content in cheese one can try using it as dessert instead of taking pie and cakes as desserts which bear more risks to the body’s health. One should consider the lactose level in the type of cheese they consume especially for those with lactose intolerance. Finally, one should be mindful of the sodium content in the cheese they consume since high sodium content in the diet can result in high blood pressure or heart diseases (Lichtenstein et al, 2006).


Cheese is delicious, inexpensive, and easy to prepare thus it’s one of the most popular food groups in the world. If you combine cheese with other food, you can make a variety of dishes. It’s found in recipes from breakfast to dessert and is enjoyed around the world by people of all ages. The most common types of cheese worldwide are hard cheeses which are usually eaten at room temperature and soft cheeses which are usually eaten cold (Kapoor, R., & Metzger, L. E. 2008). The great thing about cheese is that it’s not just for adults! Cheese can be enjoyed by the whole family, including kids. Cheese offers several nutritious benefits to the body since it contains proteins, fats, minerals, and vitamins contents. The nutrient content of cheese varies on the type of cheese. Cheese consumption has been identified as a health benefit and important diet that guards against heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure by several research studies. However, eating large amounts of cheese with saturated fat content can hurt your health, especially for people with a high risk for cardiovascular diseases. To enjoy the health benefits that cheese consumption bears, one should incorporate other nutritious foods like vegetables and fruits into their diet.


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