Say yes to cheese!
Whether it’s halloumi or feta, cheddar or camembert – cheese is bound to delight you at every dinner or snack platter (unless of course you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant).
But while cheese seems a bit of an unhealthy additive, a study has proven it’s not as bad for you as you may have thought.
Research from University College Dublin has concluded people who eat a lot of cheese, and other such dairy items, are thinner than those who don’t, and it doesn’t actually raise cholesterol levels.
Scientists studied the impact of eating dairy products - milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and cream - on 1,500 people aged between 18 and 90.
They found that the people who consumed the most dairy had lower BMIs, lower body fat percentages, smaller waists and lower blood pressure.
High blood cholesterol is strongly linked to increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Surprisingly, those who ate low-fat dairy tended to have higher cholesterol levels.
“What we saw was that in 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,” said study lead author Dr Emma Feeney.
“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 is, so not just about the food then, but the pattern of other foods we eat with them as well.”
Also noted was those who ate more cheese and dairy tended to consume more carbohydrates.