How long does it take to digest cheese?


Quick Answer

Hard cheeses made from whole milk take as long as four to five hours to digest, according to QualityHealth.com. This type of cheese takes the longest to digest because its density requires the pancreas to produce a lot of chemicals to break it down.

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Full Answer

Dairy products such as yogurt and milk are widely believed to aid indigestion. However, many cheeses are rich in protein and fat, which are not fully digested until they are already past the stomach and in the small intestine. The liver, pancreas and stomach all must perform a significant amount of work in order to break down fat- and protein-rich foods.

As is frequently the case with digestive problems, the issue is often accidental overindulgence. A little cheese on its own does not present the average person with much difficulty; the problem occurs when it is paired with other proteins. When eating foods such as cheeseburgers, the stomach is overwhelmed and must deal with a significant mass of fat and protein all at once. The flood of chemicals released results in indigestion.

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