Forget the crab puffs and pilfer the cheese plate at your next swanky dinner party – it could hold the key to a long and healthy life.  

This was the takeaway from a new study out of Texas A&M University, in which researchers revealed that aged cheeses could help increase life expectancy and curb liver cancer.

Researchers found that cheeses like cheddar, brie and parmesan contain a compound called spermidine that keeps damaged liver cells from replicating, meaning it can prevent liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, or the most common form of liver cancer.)

Researchers monitored spermidine treatment in mice for the duration of their lives and found that their life expectancy increased by 25 percent.

While more research is needed to determine whether a similar effect would be seen in humans, the researchers also ventured that the regular consumption of foods like mushrooms, soya, legumes and whole grains could lead to the same life-extending results.

“Severely cutting the number of calories consumed, restricting the amount of methionine (a type of amino acid found in meat and other proteins) in the diet and using the drug rapamycin have been shown to truly prolong the lifespans of vertebrates,” said assistant professor Leyuan Liu.

”But eating less and not eating meat will not be welcomed by general population, while rapamycin has shown to suppress the human immune system - therefore, spermidine may be a better approach.“

In other words: Start cutting that cheese. 

h/t The Independent