Sorry Paula Deen, but a group of Danish researchers say that when it comes to cholesterol, cheese is less harmful than butter. A new study led the scientists to believe that cheese does not hurt cholesterol levels as much as other animal fats.
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen fed elevated portions of cheese to a group of 50 people for six weeks, let their bodies cleanse on a normal diet for two weeks after that, and ended the study by buttering them up for six weeks. Their LDL cholesterol levels (A.K.A. bad cholesterol) showed no increase from their normal diet during the six weeks they spent consuming high levels of cheese, but their LDL increased seven percent during the six weeks they spent eating lots of butter.
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The study failed to pinpoint why exactly the cheese (made from cow's milk) did not affect LDL levels. Some suggested that the high levels of calcium in cheese may help excrete more fat in the digestive tract, or that high protein affected the digestion process.
Dr. Elisabeth Jackson, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, commended the study, but told Reuters Health that the results should not affect medical advice cardiologists share with patients.
"We want people to have a diet focused on whole grains and vegetables and moderate fats," Jackson said.
The group's study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.