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Is cheese invited to your Christmas feast?

Cheese platter

If you love to read about how to best protect your health, I bet you’ve noticed that dairy has been added to the ever-growing list of demonised foods you’re told to cut out if you want a thriving gut.

I get a bit het up about this one. There’s so much misinformation out there when it comes to dairy from claims that cow’s milk, yoghurt and, yes, Cheddar or Camembert are packed full of sugar, are bad for your gut – and can even cause cancer

Look, there is some evidence to suggest that consuming LARGE amounts of skimmed milk can trigger skin conditions if you are genetically susceptible to acne.

For the most part, though, when it comes to human health (acknowledging the environmental and animal rights aspects of why some people choose to forego dairy) the science suggests that this food group can form part of a balanced diet and could even offer some gut-loving benefits.

In fact, when it comes to FERMENTED dairy, such as live yoghurt (which is why I created my Bio&Me range), there’s decent evidence for health benefits – including for your heart and bones, digestion and metabolism.

The GREAT news is that included in the fermented dairy family are MOST types of cheese. And, thanks to the naturally very low levels of lactose (milk sugar), most hard cheeses are well tolerated even by those who are lactose intolerant.

If you do want to eat the smelly stuff this Christmas, here’s how to pack an extra punch of gut-loving joy into your spread.

  1. Go for aged cheese produced in smaller batches, over giant factory-made cheeses.
  2. Look for quality but, remember, it isn’t just about price the standard for cheese quality is usually set in the country or region where each type of cheese is made – so why not try local or homemade produce?
  3. Pair your favourite cheeses with plants from the ‘super 6’ plant-based food groups to top up your plant points and keep your microbes happy.