In a small study, researchers found that cheese, often avoided due to its saturated fatty acids, did not increase LDL or total cholesterol levels
Take heart, cheese lovers! What was once considered off-limits for heart health may have just found redemption.
Danish researchers compared the effect of cheese and butter on heart health parameters and found that cheese did not increase LDL levels, and in fact, lowered them when compared with butter intake of equal fat content.
About 50 people participated in the study. Each person was placed on a controlled diet with an added measure of cheese or butter every day. Both the cheese and the butter were made from cow's milk and equal to 13 percent of each person's daily fat intake. For six weeks each person ate their set amount of cheese or butter, then returned to their normal diet for two weeks, then switched diets for six weeks, so that those who ate butter ate cheese and the cheese eaters ate butter.
Despite the fact that the participants ate more fat than they normally did, those who ate cheese daily had no increase in their LDL or total cholesterol. When eating butter, the same people saw their LDL levels increase by about seven percent on average. While eating cheese, HDL cholesterol dropped some compared to when they were eating butter, but not compared to when eating their normal diets.