Science Summary: Cheese and Your Health | U.S. Dairy

What to Know About Cheese and Your Health

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  • March 25, 2021

Cheese is delicious and nutritious and can start with just 3 ingredients: milk, starter culture and salt. This process can be done in so many ways that there are nearly 2,000 varieties of cheese. A 2016 systematic review concluded that eating cheese is not associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, based on high-quality evidence, and may be associated with a lower risk for stroke and type 2 diabetes (T2D), based on moderate-quality evidence.

Cheese can be an important part of healthy dietary patterns. It’s a nutrient-rich food that contributes protein, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin A to the U.S. diet. For vegetarians, cheese and other dairy foods are important sources of high-quality protein. For people with lactose intolerance, cheese can be a source of dairy nutrients with minimal lactose.

Three servings of low-fat and fat-free dairy foods, including cheese, are recommended for Americans 9 years and older as part of the Healthy U.S.-Style and Healthy Vegetarian Dietary Patterns in the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA).

You can download our full report, “Science Summary: Cheese & Health,” for more information on how cheese makes important nutrient contributions.

Want more? Here are all the ways cheese is good for you.