Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese… but there’s no denying that it holds a very special place in the hearts of many.
Whether you prefer a creamy Brie, an ultra-mature cheddar, a simplistic slice of Edam, a crumbly Stilton, or something completely different, we imagine you tend to see it as a deliciously naughty treat.
And that’s mostly because nutritionists tend to steer clear of le fromage when listing their favourite healthy foods.
However, as it turns out, cheese isn’t a terribly unhealthy snack, to be sneaked only when nobody is looking.
In fact, scientists have now proven that cheese is good for our hearts.
A new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, saw researchers ask 139 adults to participate in a 12-week cheese eating test (lucky them, eh?).
They then divided the adults into three groups; the first were asked to eat 80g of regular, high-fat cheese every day. The second group at the same amount of cheese – but were asked to stick to the low-fat stuff.
The third group proved to have drawn the short straw, as they were told to avoid cheese at all costs, instead focusing their attention on straight carbs.
Somewhat surprisingly, the group who chomped down on full-fat cheese each day saw absolutely no change in their LDL cholesterol, nor did they see any increase to their insulin, blood sugar, or triglyceride levels.
Their blood pressure and waist circumference were also unaffected.
And, after more careful research, scientists soon discovered that the health of the full-fat cheese-guzzlers had actually improved.
Their levels of HDL (aka the ‘good cholesterol) had gone up, and the study showed that a healthy diet which includes full-fat cheese actually provided some protection from cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease.
It’s not the first time that cheese has been proven to have a positive effect on our health; recent studies have shown that it can help battle insomnia, boost our moods, improve our sex lives, and plenty more besides.
So, while cheese does contain sodium and saturated fat (both big no-no’s), enjoying it in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet should see you reap the health benefits.