A new article emphasizes the benefits of cheese, especially “molded” cheese, such as Roquefort and Gorganzola. Fermentation, if that is the right word, is essential:
The advantageous properties of cheese appear dynamically during the ripening process. Cheese which has been ripened for longer has been shown to be more effective in restoration of glucose tolerance, prevention of steatosis [fat deposition inside a cell] and adipose tissue oxidative stress than short-ripened specimens. This data suggests that organic substances responsible for the health benefits of cheese emerge not merely due to mixing the ingredients required for cheese production, but rather as a result of a complex time-dependent enzymatic transformation of the cheese core controlled by probiota, temperature, humidity and possibly other factors.
Only in South Korea and Japan do people have less heart disease than in France, says the article. Readers of this blog will quickly see what South Korea, Japan, and France have in common. All of them eat much more fermented food than most people in rich countries. South Korea: kimchi. Japan: miso and pickles. France: cheese and wine.
Thanks to Peter MacLeod.