What is cardiovascular disease?
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A study published in Medical Hypotheses found that blue cheeses are beneficial in reducing the chance of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). These are a group of disorders affecting the heart and blood vessels. They include coronary, cerebrovascular, and rheumatic diseases, congenital heart disease, thrombosis, and pulmonary embolism. The main risk factors at play are physical inactivity, smoking, harmful use of alcohol, and unhealthy diets.
Raised blood pressure, raised blood glucose, raised blood lipids, overweight and obesity are all red flags that might signal a cardiovascular disease.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the best diet for preventing CVDs is high in fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, poultry, and vegetable oils.
They also recommend reduced consumption of red and processed meats, refined carbohydrates, foods and beverages with added sugar, alcohol, sodium, and trans fat.
A popular misconception, however, is that people who have or are at risk of cardiovascular diseases should give up fatty foods completely.
As the British Heart Foundation suggests, people with CVDs don’t need to cut out cheese from their diet, but just use high-fat cheeses sparingly.
In fact, cheese, and blue cheese, in particular, has a series of health benefits linked to the vitamins and minerals that it contains.
Blue cheese, because of the distinct veins of mold that run through it and the bacteria cultures it contains, can be truly beneficial to the diet.
Roquefort, for instance, is considered to be the most beneficial cheese for heart health.
Research findings in “Medical Hypotheses”, suggest that molded cheeses, including Roquefort, may be “even more favorable to cardiovascular health”.
“This is due to the presence of secondary metabolites produced by Penicillium roqueforti and other fungi.”
These have the ability to inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis and bacterial growth.
“They may be a key mechanism in the prevention of cardiovascular disease,” the study concluded.
Cheese has often had a bad reputation, but it can make people live a longer and healthier life if consumed the right way.
It is high in calcium, and rich in vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin, D and niacin.
It also contains beneficial minerals like zinc and phosphorous, which contribute to overall health.
A 100-gram serving of Roquefort, for example, provides 20 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin B12; 8 percent of the daily recommendation of vitamin B6; 53 percent of the recommended intake of calcium; 42 percent of the recommended intake of protein.
Moderation, however, is key when it comes to cheese consumption.
Roquefort, for instance, is very high in fat and sodium.
It provides 95 percent of the daily recommendation of saturated fat, 25 percent of daily cholesterol, and 50 percent of daily sodium.
This is why, according to the British Heart Foundation, it is very important to keep portions small and weigh them to reduce temptation.
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