The One "Healthy" Food a Doctor Would Never Eat (and Why You Should Stop Too)

With so many conflicting messages online, it can be incredibly difficult to differentiate what's healthy from what's not. Is the latest ancient superfood discovery really a cure for hormone imbalance? Is eating raw food better for you than consuming the cooked version? While health and wellness trends come and go, thankfully there are some things we're all taught since school age that we don't ever have to question… or should we?

If the latest research is anything to go by, we should be eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day instead of five, as previously thought, and that eating cheese doesn't, in fact, make your heart healthier, despite studies to tell us otherwise. Wait, what? All those years of drinking calcium-enriched milk in our elementary years with a cheese stick for lunch have actually been doing our health a disservice? According to Neal D. Barnard, MD, author of New York Times bestseller The Cheese Trap, it's actually sabotaging it.

Thanks to the war on sugar, we're all aware of the addictive nature of the saccharine treat and know what to look out for when buying groceries, but Barnard's new study puts the same laser focus on cheese. Why is cheese so bad for us? While U.S. government figures show that soda and sweetener consumption has fallen since 1999, obesity figures have worsened, which Barnard say parallels with the continuing rise in cheese consumption. "The average American consumes 60,000 calories worth of cheese (or about 31 pounds) every year, and evidence suggests that it is a major contributor to weight problems, both in adults and children," he explained. Intrigued?

Ahead, Barnard outlines the reason cheese is so addictive, why breaking the habit is key to improved weight and health and a very surprising fact you probably wish you didn't know about this delicious food.