A new study performed by scientists at University College Dublin in Ireland brings great news for cheese lovers. Their findings suggest that people who consume dairy products which are high in fat have a lower body mass index and lower levels of cholesterol.
Cheese is good for the body
For the study, researchers looked at the effects dairy foods have on the body. They analyzed the body fatness markers and the general health of around 1,500 people aged between 18 and 90 years. Then, they looked at the participants’ eating habits. The researchers were interested in their consumption of milk, cheese, cream, butter, yoghurt, or other dairy products.
After a close analysis of individual dairy foods, they found that cheese was not related to a higher level of body fat or to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. On the contrary, those people with a higher dairy intake had a lower body mass index, lower levels of body fat, lower blood pressure, and a lower waist size.
Dr. Emma Feeney, professor at University College Dublin, confirmed the fact that cheese and other dairy products are good for our health.
“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.”
Low-fat dairy products are not as good as you thought
These results were present in people who consumed high-fat dairy products. On the other hands, those who eat low-fat milk or yoghurt have a higher intake of carbohydrates. Moreover, their LDL cholesterol levels were higher than the people with the high-fat dietary habits.
Feeney warns people that they should pay attention to the combinations of food that they make in their diets. They should cover all food groups and have a varied diet, as the scarcity of certain foods and nutrients might lead to other health problems.
“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.”