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Study shows: cheese can help you lose weight
Hard to believe, but true: An Irish study showed that protein-containing foods like cheese can help you lose weight. According to scientific evidence, cheese is also much healthier than is generally assumed. But what about cholesterol levels?
Lose weight properly
Health experts keep warning about wrong weight loss. If you want to reduce your weight without a yo-yo effect, you have to change your diet consistently in the long term. The best chance of success is probably with a permanent diet with fewer calories. It is helpful to rely on certain foods that serve as slimming agents. Cheese also appears to be one of these foods, as researchers from Ireland have found.
Cheese is healthier than expected
For many people, cheese is considered a rather unhealthy food that is said to contribute to a higher cholesterol level, among other things. However, scientific studies have shown that the milk product is significantly healthier than is often assumed.
Scientists from the USA recently discovered that special types of cheese can protect against liver cancer.
And British researchers found in an investigation that eating fatty cheese - contrary to what was suspected - did not increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
A study by Irish scientists has now shown that cheese does not necessarily increase cholesterol. In addition, eating cheese can even cause people to lose weight.
Increased saturated fat intake
For their study, the scientists from University College Dublin analyzed the effects of cheese consumption on a total of 1,500 participants from Ireland.
The aim was to evaluate the current dietary guidelines, which warn that eating cheese (rich in saturated fats) influences the risk of developing high blood cholesterol, the researchers said.
The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Nutrition and Diabetes".
"We found that the high consumption of cheese leads to a significantly increased intake of saturated fatty acids compared to people who do not eat cheese," said study leader Dr. Emma Feeney in a message.
However, according to the author, there was no difference in the LDL cholesterol level found.
Less weight due to cheese consumption
The researchers suspect that the mixture of nutrients in cheese helps to compensate for the increased consumption of saturated fats.
The milk intake from the cheese even had a positive effect on the so-called body mass index (BMI).
In addition, consumption led to smaller waist sizes and correlated with lower blood pressure, the scientists add.
The entire diet needs to be examined more closely
Of course, a correlation does not automatically mean a causal connection for this effect, say the experts.
So you can't say for sure that eating cheese has a positive effect on cholesterol or weight.
Cheese is just a small piece of the puzzle, we have to look at people's entire diets, the authors explain.
"We have to look not only at the nutrients themselves, but also at the matrix in which we eat them," said Feeney.
Eating low-fat products leads to increased carbohydrate intake
Ironically, the researchers also found that consuming low-fat yogurt and milk increased carbohydrate intake.
However, cause and effect could work the other way around.
If people eat more carbohydrates, they may be more likely to tend to low-fat dairy products, the scientists speculate.
Maybe those affected want to lose weight.
More research is needed
It would be really interesting to see this study repeated with a larger sample size and in different parts of the world, the authors say.
Because culture and geography have a big impact on nutrition. So far it is unclear whether the Irish diet has led to these results.
Perhaps the previously assumed negative effects of cheese were simply exaggerated, the experts add. (as, ad)