One of my guilty pleasures is cheese – any kind, served up any way. Imagine my delight when this morning’s edition of “Real Age” suggests that this dairy delight is an effective cancer fighter.
I wonder if that includes cheesecake? Probably not.
So before you pick up that slicer, you need to learn how to harness this superpower the right way so you don’t clog your arteries.
Slicing Cancer Risk
Turns out that cheese is a rich source of menaquinones, a type of vitamin K that switches on genes in the body that knock out cancer cells.
When German researchers tracked the health and diets of over 24,000 people for up to 10 years, they found that those who ate the most cheese reduced their risk for fatal cancers by 28 percent — presumably because they got the most menaquinones.
But here’s the major caveat: The biggest cheese-eaters in the study didn’t go overboard. They got just 29 grams a day, the equivalent of about an ounce of cheese or one deli slice.
To get ample amounts of menaquinones, don’t rely on cheese alone, because you’ll get an overload of artery-clogging, calorie-laden saturated fat, too.
A better bet? Diversify. Egg yolks and chicken are also good sources. And get plenty of leafy greens. There’s new evidence that most of us need more of the bone-friendly form of K found in spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, collards, and more. (But if you’re on a blood thinner, talk to your doctor first.)
Incidentally, I’ve been seeing a trend on the food network for chefs to use collard greens in salads. They are sauteed in olive oil and spashing them with an assortment of vinegars. I haven’t had the nerve to try it yet. Anyone out there tried this?