Long Story Short
New research has found that eating lots of cheese doesn’t raise cholesterol levels or body fat.
Ahhh, good old cheese. On your pizza. In your burger. Stuffed between some bread with a lovely bit of pickle. Maybe even as part of a wider selection with some posh crackers.
You just can’t go wrong with a bit of cheese. Well, except for the fact that it’s cranking up your cholesterol and clogging up your arteries all at once. Or so we thought, at least…
Research conducted at University College Dublin will have cheese-lovers cramming Stilton into their excited faces in celebration. As it turns out, cheese might not be that bad for you.
Researchers looked at the impact of dairy products on 1,500 people. They found that people who eat lots of the yellow stuff (or white or blue, depending on your palate) actually have a lower body mass index than those who eat less.
It also found that people who consume the most dairy have a lower percentage of body fat, a smaller waist size and lower blood pressure. Also, people who ate low-fat dairy actually had higher cholesterol.
This, of course, goes against current health guidelines that say foods high in saturated fats like cheese raise blood cholesterol – which can ultimately lead to heart diseases, strokes and other health problems.
And it’s not the only study in recent months to claim that saturated fats could actually be good for us.
However, it’s probably worth remembering the “everything in moderation” rule. And it’s not just about the foods, but lifestyle and eating habits.
Lead researcher Dr Emma Feeney said: “The high consumers [of cheese], they had a significantly higher intake of saturated fat than the non-consumers and the low consumers, and yet there was no difference in their LDL Cholesterol levels.
“We have to consider not just the nutrients themselves but also the matrix in which we are eating them in and what the overall dietary pattern. So not just about the food then, but the pattern of other foods we eat with them as well.”
In other words, it’s good news for cheese-lovers, but don’t start grating extra cheese on your Domino’s just yet (well, any more extra than usual at least).
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One study has found evidence that cheese actually could help fight cardiovascular disease.