Q. Can you eat cheese on an anti-inflammatory diet?
A. Although dietary choices can affect the level of inflammation in your body, it’s too simple to say that a single food or nutrient “causes” inflammation.
Cheese contains saturated fats, which can promote inflammatory processes in the body. But other dietary fats, such as omega-3s and monounsaturated fats, have anti-inflammatory effects. So a diet that contains plenty olive oil and a bit of cheese probably isn’t pro-inflammatory. But a diet that contains lots of coconut oil (which is also high in saturated fat) plus a bit of cheese might be.No food or nutrient causes inflammation in a vacuum. Click To Tweet
And there are lots of other dietary factors that impact inflammation besides the type of fat. Refined carbohydrates are likely to promote inflammation, for example. Antioxidant rich vegetables and spices tend to be anti-inflammatory.
As I talked about in this recent episode of the Nutrition Diva podcast, it’s almost impossible to answer the question “Is ______ good/bad for me?” without considering how much you’re eating, what else you’re eating, and what you would be eating if you weren’t eating ______ instead!
Although I wouldn’t consider cheese to be an anti-inflammatory food, per se, I think there’s certainly room for moderate amount of cheese in a healthy and anti-inflammatory diet. (Thank goodness!)
If you’re interested in learning more about anti-inflammatory diets, I recently offered an online course on this topic. There’s more information on the course here, if you’d like to check that out.