If there's one thing that's certain at this time of year (in fact, year-round) it's that a cheese board is going to make an appearance sooner or later. But, while some of us might try and attempt to limit said cheese consumption—admittedly, not very successfully—this study will have all the cheese lovers jumping with joy.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, cheese is not as bad as we once believed.
Researchers gathered results from nearly 140 adults who participated in and completed their 12-week cheese test (jealous!). One group ate 80 grams of high-fat cheese every day, one group ate 80 grams of reduced-fat cheese, and the third group had no cheese but ate 90 grams of bread and jam every day. They then measured their levels of HDL (or "good") cholesterol and LDL (or "bad") cholesterol.
This is the part where cheese addicts cheer.
Researchers found that changes in "bad" cholesterol levels were not significantly different between subjects who had regular cheese or reduced-fat cheese. And all the levels of the "good" cholesterol tended to be higher among subjects who ate full-fat cheese when compared to people who ate no cheese at all.
But, one thing to note before digging into that waiting wheel of cheese: This study was partially financed by a group of dairy manufacturers, so there may have been an incentive to prove that cheese was good for you. The study also used a small number of participants and only measured the temporary effects of eating lots of cheese, not the long-term impacts it could potentially have.
It's also not the first study that's looked at the benefits of full-fat dairy products.
In 2019, The Heart Foundation released new dietary guidelines after a two-year review of Australian and International research into the effect meat, dairy and eggs have on our health. While it was previously recommended everyone stick with reduced-fat dairy products, the full-fat kind was officially given the tick of approval, along with regular consumption of eggs. The review established that restricting these food groups is only necessary for those with high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes or those already experiencing heart disease.
Cheese is still high in calories so moderation is key, but it's safe to say that you can enjoy a few slices of your favorite triple-cream brie entirely guilt-free.