ICYMI: Science Says Alcohol is Bad, Cheese is Good

According to a new study, no amount of liquor, wine or beer is good for you. So much for that whole ‘a glass of red wine a day’ thing.

According to the study, published last week in medical journal The Lancet, alcohol was the leading risk factor for disease and premature death in men and women between the ages of 15 and 49 worldwide in 2016. The team behind the report culled data from nearly 700 global studies that examined the consumption of alcohol in various countries, studying how it contributes to a variety of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, tuberculosis and diabetes. It also, of course, factored in things like drunk-driving accidents and drug use, both of which increase the likelihood of health risks and premature deaths.

“The most surprising finding was that even small amounts of alcohol use contribute to health loss globally,” senior study author Emmanuela Gakidou, a professor at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, told CNN. “We’re used to hearing that a drink or two a day is fine. But the evidence is the evidence.”

So what does this mean? We cut alcohol out of our lives completely? As TIME notes, “Gakidou’s paper did show some modest cardiovascular benefits associated with moderate drinking, particularly among women, but she says that effect is overshadowed by the numerous ways alcohol can threaten health. When you consider risks like breast cancer and road traffic injuries, she says, “the protective effect goes away, even at low doses.””

However, in case you now need a new method of drowning your sorrows, there is a bit of good news: another new study, presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s annual meeting this week, revealed that cheese might actually be good for you.

“The consumption of dairy products has long been thought to increase the risk of death, particularly from coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and cancer, because of dairy’s relatively high levels of saturated fat,” the society said in a news release. “Yet evidence for any such link, especially among U.S. adults, is inconsistent.”

As NBC notes, “Whole milk still appears to increase the risk of heart disease, although the study authors did not quantify how great the increase was. But most other dairy products, especially cheese and yogurt, were found to protect against both total mortality — death from any cause — and mortality from cerebrovascular causes.”

According to the researchers, the consumption of a dairy diet of mostly cheese was associated with an 8 percent lower total mortality risk. Okay, so maybe forgoing that glass of wine isn’t too bad when an extra-cheese pizza is your consolation prize. Excuse us while we, like Judd Apatow, run out to pick up our guilty pleasure of choice.