Dig out the chutney because a new study suggests cheese may actually be good for our health.
Scientists in the US investigated how a diet including high-fat cheese impacts our cholesterol.
Perhaps surprisingly, they found that those who consumed high-fat cheese on a daily basis had increased levels of a “good” cholesterol, but regular levels of “bad” cholesterol.
Over the course of 12 weeks, scientists from the University of Copenhagen monitored a group of more than 100 volunteers who they split into three groups.
The first group ate 80g of regular, high-fat cheese every day, the second group ate 80g of reduced-fat cheese every day and the third group did not include any cheese in their diet.
The scientists found that cheese comsumption did not affect the volunteers’ levels of a “bad” cholesterol linked to heart disease, called low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
However, they found that those who had eaten the regular, high-fat cheese had higher levels of a “good” cholesterol called high-density lipoprotein (HDL) than people in the other two groups.
According to the NHS, HDL is essential to the body as it carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it’s either broken down or passed out of the body as a waste product.
For this reason, HDL is referred to as “good cholesterol”, and higher levels are better for overall health.
The research echoes a study last year which found that, contrary to popular belief, cheese and other foods high in saturated fats do not increase the risk of death or heart disease.