It’s the general perception that dairy based foods like cheese, butter and cream aren’t really that beneficial for your body, but a new study has challenged that by arguing that they’re actually able to prevent heart disease.
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The researchers at the University of Bergen in Norway found that eating naturally high fat foods whilst limiting the amount of carbohydrates consumed did not cause an increase in harmful cholesterol. The study examined 40 obese men with half given a low fat high carb diet and the other half given fewer carbohydrates and doubling their intake of saturated fats. They were both given plenty of vegetables and neither exceeded 2100 calories a day.
By the end of the study, both groups had lost 12kg of body fat, lowering their risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Here’s what lead researcher Simon Dankel said about it:
The human body can do perfectly well with fats as its main energy source.
People will say that you can’t lose weight, you can’t go on any diets with saturated fats, no matter what.
But in this context, we see a very positive metabolic response. You can base your energy in your diet either on carbohydrates or fat. It doesn’t make a big difference.
We emphasised dairy fats especially in the study. The people were eating cream and butter, and some coconut oil, not the processed fats found in junk food.
The new research questioned ‘the alleged strong adverse effect of saturated fats on health’, which hadn’t been tested as directly before.
It’s not the fat per se, or on its own, that’s driving a negative health response. You can have just as good a health benefit on this high-fat diet as a low-fat diet in this context.
Reduced-fat foods have become popular in the last few decades but manufacturers have added sugar to replace the tasty fats.
Many people would say this has been a major experiment to our diet. During this time we’ve had the most increase in obesity and related diseases.
Dankel also explained that this experiment helps us to understand why French people – who traditionally eat a lot of bread, cheese and butter i.e. saturated fats – have such a low rate of heart disease. What a milestone – make sure you all go out and let everyone know that you can eat as much cheese and butter as you want now. As long as you limit your carbs though, of course.
Maybe go treat yourself to this melted cheese gun that just came out. Surely one of the best Christmas presents ever?