Is Gouda my favorite healthy cheese?
While I certainly like Gouda cheese and don’t mind eating it, my taste buds consistently rank several other cheeses quite a bit higher on the enjoyment scale.
Why Gouda cheese then?
The answer might surprise you.
You might be shocked to learn, as I was, that Gouda cheese is higher than most liver, grassfed butter, and even pastured egg yolks in the critical nutrient Vitamin K2, identified by Dr. Weston A. Price as the elusive “Activator X”.
Vitamin K2 along with the other fat soluble activators A and D are synergistically responsible for the vibrant health and extremely high resistance to aging and degenerative disease as experienced by Traditional Cultures and as described in Dr. Price’s groundbreaking book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
Vitamin K2 is extremely difficult to get sufficient quantities of in the diet even if one consumes grassfed meats and dairy on a very regular basis. The reason is the worrisome depletion of our soils which grassfed farmers are valiantly turning the tide on, but which will still take several decades if not even a century or two to reverse on a widespread basis.
On top of this, many families are currently struggling to afford any grassfed meat and dairy at all. I receive emails all the time from readers who wonder how to maintain health on the very tight budget of about $75-100/week for a family of 4 or even more!
The sad state of the economy which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, requires creative and practical solutions to ensure that this critical and elusive nutrient is in the diet in the quantities necessary to ensure freedom from tooth decay and high immunity to degenerative diseases like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, periodontal disease, cancer, and diabetes among many others such as what Traditional Societies experienced.
Vitamin K2 has no known toxicity even at high intake levels, but is most effective when consumed in the presence of the other fat soluble activators Vitamin A and D. Therefore, getting Vitamin K2 from food is always the best way to go if at all possible.
Why Gouda Cheese is So Loaded with Nutrition
This is where Gouda cheese comes in.
You see, the food that is highest in Vitamin K2 is natto, which is very difficult to find and even more difficult to consume due to its very horrible taste and texture. If you are game, you can usually find it at Asian specialty stores in the freezer section for about $3 for a small container. Natto contains about 1,103 mcg of K2 per 3.5 ounce portion. This is more than any other food by a large margin. Note that it is best to source organic natto due to toxicity issues from GMO soybeans.
The second highest food in Vitamin K2 is goose fat particularly from the liver which has 369 mcg per 3 1/2 ounce portion. While highly delicious and wonderful to eat, goose liver pate is very hard to find in most places. It is also a very high end, gourmet food which makes the price out of reach for most.
Rounding out the top 3 foods highest in Vitamin K2 is none other than the humble Gouda cheese, which boasts 75 mcg per 3 1/2 ounce serving! This compares to pastured egg yolks and butter, which each have about 15 mcg of K2 per 3 1/2 ounce portion.
Here’s the really excellent news: Gouda cheese is extremely high in Vitamin K2 even if the milk it’s made from was not grassfed. This is due to the bacterial cultures used to ferment milk into Gouda cheese. Bacteria produce a special type of Vitamin K2 (MK-7) which according to current research is as effective as the animal form of Vitamin K2 (MK-4) at preserving human health when combined in the diet with the other fat soluble activators A and D.
Of course, grassfed Gouda cheese would be best as Gouda made from this highest quality raw milk would be high not only in MK-7 but also MK-4, the animal form of K2.
For some, however, supermarket Gouda cheese is all they can find or afford!
In other words, Gouda cheese is high in Vitamin K2 regardless of how the milk was produced. Gouda even if made from the milk of the average grainfed, conventionally raised cow, is still very much worth it to buy from a nutritional standpoint!
Other hard cheeses would also be high in Vitamin K2, but Gouda is the highest of them all. Perhaps this is a reason why cheese is the #1 most stolen item in the world!
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sources and More Information
Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox, by Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue ND
The Healthy Home Economist holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Mother to 3 healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and many others.