Good news for cheese lovers, rejoice! People who consume high-fat dairy products like cheese may have lower body mass index and cholesterol levels, a new Irish study has claimed.
Researchers from University College Dublin in Ireland examined the impact of dairy foods milk, cheese, yogurt, cream and butter on markers of body fatness and health in about 1,500 people aged between 18 and 90 years.
An analysis of individual dairy foods found that cheese consumption was not associated with increased body fat or with Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
They found that higher dairy intake was associated with lower body mass index, lower percentage of body fat, lower waist size and lower blood pressure.
People who regularly consumed low-fat milk and yogurt tended to have higher intakes of carbohydrates, researchers said.
The study also found that people in the 'low-fat' dietary pattern group had greater LDL-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 Dr Emma Feeney of University College Dublin.
"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," Feeney added.
The study was published in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes.