It’s unavoidable advice: if you’re going to eat cheese, it should be the fat-free or low-fat kind. Trouble is, that usually limits your choices to mass-produced, vacuum-sealed cheeses that have had much of their flavour sucked out along with the fat.
So it’s hardly an appetising proposition. And for what real benefit? Fewer kilojoules and a lower risk of heart disease? Not so fast.
“The combination of protein and fat in regular, full-fat cheese is very satiating,” says nutritionist Alan Aragon. “As a result, eating full-fat cheese holds your appetite at bay for hours, and I’ve found that it cuts down my clients’ food intake at subsequent meals.”
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Aragon’s advice: enjoy snacks of full-fat cheese, especially if you’re on a diet. “Just don’t eat it mindlessly,” he says.
And if you’re worried about your cholesterol, chew on this: Danish scientists found that when men ate a whopping 10 daily 28-gram servings of full-fat cheese for three weeks, their LDL (bad) cholesterol didn’t budge.
Which isn’t to say you should live on the stuff – just that you don’t need to fear it. Full-fat cheese can be a healthy snack and a great way to make a bland meal taste better.