Can cheese trigger AF?

Well yes, I suppose it can but it will depend on how much you eat and how strong (ie mature) it is. I was asked this question because Dairying is/was my profession. There has been recent newspaper coverage about the demise of traditional Double Gloucester cheese, supposedly due to the dwindling numbers of Gloucester cattle. I have seldom read such misleading rubbish in my whole life! This cheese is made in a number of British Creameries using the traditional recipe with British milk from your average dairy cow. I do not know of any commercial cheese being made exclusively from Gloucester cows' milk - I would be amazed if any of these cows were milked at all as they suckle their own calves.

Simplistically, British hard cheeses are about 1/3rd fat, 1/3rd protein and 1/3rd water with a bit of salt and perhaps colouring. Stilton has a bit more fat and Edam types a bit less. Some cheaper, less mature cheeses may contain more water - extra profit as it weighs heavy! My advice would be to buy mature cheese as you need to use less of it.

Beware blended cheeses. The very popular Cheshire with Cranberries needs avoiding if you take warfarin. Smoked cheeses ( and smoked anything ) are best avoided ( cancer risk ). The best blended cheese that I have tasted is Cheddar with marmite - and I hate marmite!

24 Replies

  • Gloucester cheese is made from Gloucester cows milk....ha ha. If it was, there would not be enough cheese to supply one corner shop, as Gloucester cattle are on the Rare Breed Survival Trust's "Breeds At Risk" register !!!

    Interesting post Jenny, thank you.

    I love ewe's milk cheese myself. Quite hard to get sometimes. I shall bring some back from Spain next month though.


  • Very high fat! I had a go at milking sheep ( only 2 teats ). They run into the parlour for food as they are so greedy and they're milked in about 30 secs.

    Enjoy your Spanish break!

  • Wow - the ol' biddies around our house stamp their feet and hiss at you if you glance sideways at them!! Beautiful Blackface sheep but foul tempered!

  • I love cheese of any kind and still eat various types regularly - without incident, so far. I read somewhere that veined blue cheeses should be avoided by AFibbers, but they don't seem to bother me.

    Favourites are soft, creamy goat's (Sainsbury's or Lidl's) and Roquefort ewes' - which seems to be as rare as hens' teeth at the moment over here too, sadly. I assume sheep farmers are using their ewes to suckle lambs and so ewe cheese is scarce in the British Isles?

    Thank you for the interesting information on how to avoid buying expensive water, jennydog!

  • Cheese is so nutritionally valuable that it would be a shame not to include it in a varied diet. I am surprised that sheep's cheese is not more readily available as more are being milked in this country. The EU introduced quotas for cow's milk so there was a move to milk more goats and sheep. It's very specialised though. I learned to avoid taking official documents anywhere near goats after one ate half a file!

  • Alas, more evidence that animals are taking over the universe! Having left the directory on my mobile open, the cat managed to call my New York!

  • When I was on Warfarin, strong or blue cheeses were among the many substances on an official NHS list of things to have as an occasional treat only. Apparently they can affect your INR.

  • I have often said that if I was advised to give up eating meat it would not bother me that much, but if I had to give up cheese I would throw myself off the highest bridge!

  • A cardio nurse told me that over 90% of people say that cheese is the most difficult thing to cut out or cut down on. I would agree with that. Although I like chocolate, I don't buy it and it wouldn't upset me if it was abolished tomorrow. If they abolished cheese, I might join you on the bridge! I try to restrict myself to a couple of times a week.

  • Yes, life wouldn't be worth living if your favourite food disappeared. It must have been awful when food was rationed. I would be in a bad way if I were denied - - - - - you'll never guess - - - - frozen peas!!!

  • Agreed.x

  • I think everyone's trigger are different. Cheese for some, wine for many, this and that. I even had a glass of cold water trigger one once. But when i analyzed it, i was very hungry- just home from work- and i gobbled down too quickly a few things (dont even remember what i ate). Then i gulped down a glass of cold water and bang. I believe i have a hiatal hernia which flares up now and then, and i think i just set a chain of events in motion.

    Since then I have read that hiatal hernias (and reflux) and afib go together, hand in hand. So now in addition to many other nutritional things, i try to eat slowly and avoid upsetting that esophageal area and have learned a maneuver to push the hernia back that chiropractors use but you can do it on yourself. The best thing tho is not to upset the system.

    It's all a guessing game with a lot of experimenting.

  • Life-choices. It's posts like yours that make this forum so worthwhile. I'm quite sure that others will find details of your experiences very helpful.

    Very best wishes.

  • I love cheese but am on a diet, so I'm pretty well hallucinating it now... I love really stinky soft cheeses like a good Epoisse or Vacherin, and Bodnant (down the road from me) does a lovely set of its own cheeses from mature to mild. Similar to Cheddar. Sigh... I remember coming home on the Tube laden with some really smelly cheese, and nearly killing some young Italian girl tourists, years ago... Those were the days! As you can probably tell I very much hope it isn't setting off AF!

  • I'm with you, love cheese but don't eat it any more and definitely the hardest thing to eliminate from the diet, especially if in US as everything is smothered with it! I get almost verbal abuse if I ask for anything and stress NO CHEESE. I love the French cheeses most, and Stilton, mature, good and smelly, oh....... The days of cheese and red wine.................

    Don't go there, pretend they don't exist.........

  • *Hiding my eyes*... Isn't working...

  • Well....there's no way I'm giving up cheese!

  • Hi Jenny - This article might interest you (re tyramine)

  • Thank you. That was very interesting. I have not recognised a trigger for my AF but a friend seems to have a problem with cheese. She ate a Cadbury's Flake here and that set her off.

  • I get af after pizza or toasted cheese, but if the cheese isn't melted ie on a salad sandwich, I don't get it???

  • Hi Jenny -- just catching up on my emails , wasn't this article supposed to be about Single Gloucester cheese & if so this can only be obtained from Gloucester cattle ?


  • Hi Yatsura, it was written up in several papers - I first saw it on Facebook from the D Express. I commented there and some smart Alex wrote"what part of traditional do you not understand?"

    As Koll has said there are so few Gloucester cattle left and I suspect that if any at all are milked then any cheese would be very,very small scale ie kitchen. You can make Single or Double Gloucester from the milk of any normal dairy cow using the traditional recipe. They make a lot of DG at South Caernarfon Creamery. I think it's a good cheese to buy in a specialist cheese store as it is likely to be matured and I always think that it's half way between Cheshire and Cheddar.

  • Oops just scoffed some cheese on rivita with olives !

  • any kind of cheese is a trigger for me mascarpone is s real issue as its not at all obvious at times eg MandS Baked Alaska - worst episode I have had in years

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