Pass us more cheese, please!
According to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating full-fat cheese might actually be good for you.
A group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that eating the delicious food could be beneficial for your heart by increasing levels of "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is thought to protect against cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
The researchers studied 139 adults for a 12-week period to see how full-fat cheese can affect the body. One group ate 80 grams of high-fat cheese every day, one group ate 80 grams of reduced-fat cheese every day, and another group didn't eat cheese — they ate 90 grams of bread and jam every day.
The researchers then measured the groups' levels of HDL, known as the "good" cholesterol, and LDL, the "bad" cholesterol.
The results will make cheese aficionados go:
While there weren't significant changes in "bad" cholesterol levels between groups who had high-fat cheese or reduced-fat cheese, there also weren't big differences between groups who had high-fat cheese or no cheese, period.
Those that ate the high-fat cheese saw an increase in their levels of "good" HDL cholesterol, compared to those who didn't eat any cheese.
The three groups were also studied to see if health factors like insulin, glucose, triglycerides , blood pressure, and waist circumference were impacted by the cheese (or no cheese) diet, and it was found that they didn't differ significantly between groups.
It's also worth noting that the study only measured the temporary effects of eating a lot of cheese, so the long-term effects of a high-fat and low-fat cheese diet aren't known.
That being said, nutritionists told Time that cheese is a good source of protein, calcium, and vitamin D, as long as you don't go overboard and eat a ton of it on the regular.