According to University of California's BerkleyWellness.com, cheese is not inherently bad for you. When eaten in moderation, cheese has multiple health benefits. These benefits include high levels of calcium, which help in building strong bones, and use as an additional source of protein in a diet. Americans rarely eat cheese in moderation, which can lead to unhealthy effects.
The International Dairy Foods Association reports that in 2011 the United States produced over 10.6 billion pounds of cheese. On average, the cheese contained 100 calories per ounce with 6 to 9 grams of mostly saturated fat. Many types of cheeses produced in the United States are high in sodium as well, notes BerkleyWellness.com.
Not all of the fat in cheese is bad though. Cheese can be a source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). This type of fat can have multiple health benefits, such as helping to fight cancer, protecting the heart and aiding in weight reduction, according to BerkleyWellness.com. The amount of CLA in a serving of cheese is small however, which means that to gain the true benefits of the fat, unhealthy amounts of cheese must be consumed. The claim of the benefits of cheese as an aid in weight reduction, heart protection and as an anti-cancer product are highly contested.