New research highlights the benefits of aged cheeses – such as cheddar, brie, and parmesan – in helping boost life expectancy and preventing conditions such as liver cancer. A Texas A&M University study, for instance, found that these cheeses contain a compound called spermidine, which stops damaged liver cells from replicating.
But how should one go about shopping for aged cheese? According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, it is best to opt for whole raw cheese made with milk from grass-fed animals, using animal rennet or non-GMO vegetable rennet. If the cheese is smoked, it should be done naturally – many important and artisan cheeses are of this kind.
As other good options, there’s whole raw cheese made with milk from animals not grass-fed, as well as whole milk cheese made from heated or pasteurized milk (preferably from grass-fed animals). Note, however, that some cheeses labeled “raw” are made from milk that has undergone heating. Some are heated to just below the pasteurizing point, which prompts the foundation to list them under “Good” instead of the “Best” category.
Now, what should be avoided? Steer clear of low-fat and processed cheese, cheese slices, cheese spreads and other cheese-like substances, imitation cheese coming from stuff such as soy and almonds, cheese made from homogenized milk, and smoked cheese made with smoke flavoring or liquid smoke.
Keep these tips in mind when buying the next batch of gouda, gruyere, swiss, and some mozzarella.
Geoffrey Morell co-founded the Weston A. Price Foundation, a nonprofit organization that specializes in researches for better meat and dairy products. Today, he is part owner of the P.A. Bowen Farmstead, a company specializing in the provision of high-quality meat and dairy products. For similar reads, click here.