Full-fat cheese may be as healthy as low-fat cheese. That's the tantalizing conclusion of a study from Denmark, as reported in The New York Times.
There were three groups in the study: one group ate full-fat cheese, a second ate low-fat cheese, and a third was the control group.
After 12 weeks, researchers tested the blood chemistry of each group and found no difference in a number of critical areas -- including levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), triglycerides, fasting glucose, and insulin; no difference between those who ate full-fat cheese, low-fat cheese, and the control group. There was even a slight increase in good cholesterol (HDL) for the people who ate full-fat cheese.
The study, which was paid for by Danish dairy industry organizations, was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
And that's not all. The New York Times had even more good news for lovers, reporting that a large study "links whole-fat dairy food consumption to a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease." The study, published in The Lancet, was a comprehensive look at more than 130,000 people from 21 countries.
But wait, there's more to cheer about, cheese lovers. Another study suggests that a compound in aged cheese may actually improve heart function. And a third study, this one published in the European Journal of Nutrition, confirmed the good news. In this study, scientists in China found that a small, daily portion of cheese (about 40 grams) cut a person’s chance of heart disease by as much as 14 percent and of stroke by 10 percent. The authors of the study suspect that the high levels of calcium in cheese may balance out the effects of saturated fat.
No doubt more research will be needed. But in the meantime, we'll be revisiting some of our favorite cheesy comfort foods. Here's a Top 5:
"The classic grilled cheese sandwich," raves Sarah, "a true classic in my book. So creamy and delicious, I love this sandwich. It is perfect for a rainy day with some tomato soup for dipping. Excellent recipe, and easy to remember. I use 2 slices of cheddar cheese for each sandwich, do this if you like it really cheesy!" Want more? Check out 9 next-level grilled cheese sandwiches.
"I LOVE arugula, goat cheese and garlic," raves pinkypink. "Followed the recipe EXACTLY with phenomenal results! Will make again and again. Very easy gourmet recipe."
"This is an absolutely wonderful dish," says DONNA S, "and it was a real hit with my company. The only thing I changed was I added more cheese."
"Delicious!" says MOELASSES. "Very easy and kid-friendly. Use a little less pasta if you like your mac and cheese very saucy -- this wasn't overly saucy, but had great flavor. It's easy to make changes according to your likes." Want more? Here are 7 New Takes On Macaroni And Cheese.
"The best enchilada recipe!" raves Chan Can Cook. "I used the can verde enchilada sauce and baked it with extra cheese (a Mexican blend) inside and outside of the enchiladas."