Full-fat Irish cheddar has been found not to raise cholesterol levels, in fact, it may just do the opposite, according to Agriland.
The online publication reported on research carried out by scientists at UCD, commissioned by Food and Health Ireland (FHI) and found that, over a six week period, consumption of cheddar cheese showed no elevation in cholesterol.
The team worked with 127 participants, split into three groups, A, B, and C. Each group consumed a different form of dairy fat - full-fat cheddar cheese, reduced fat cheddar plus butter, and cheese with butter plus added sources of protein and calcium, similar to what is found in cheddar cheese, respectively.
Results showed that group A had a significant drop in total cholesterol compared to C, with group B falling in between the two. Scientists couldn't confirm, or deny, that full-fat cheddar actually reduced cholesterol, but noted that the health effects are greater when all of the fat is consumed.
They said that it is most likely because of the addictive effects the nutrients found in cheese have, which are high in saturated fat. The UCD team added that it is because of its high levels in saturated fat that full-fat cheddar is advised against for those with high cholesterol.
“This is a great result for cheese as a healthy food product. It has potential to impact public health and food-based recommendations in the future,” Jens Bleiel said, CEO of FHI.
“It offers the opportunity to bring back cheese on the menu for those who were told not to eat cheese due to their elevated cholesterol levels.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.