Turns out you can smash that half block of camembert tonight totally guilt-free.
A recent study, published in the American journal Of Clinical Nutrition, saw 164 overweight, middle-aged adults eating full-fat cheddar cheese for a period of six weeks.
Interestingly, the participants saw zero weight gain over this time. Instead, consuming a typical sized-block (120g) a day decreased their total cholesterol levels, including ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. This was in comparison to those that stocked the fridge with light cheese and tubs of reduced-fat butter.
So what makes the aged, fatty food better for cholesterol compared to other dairy products, you ask?!
Food scientists introduce us to 'The Cheese Matrix': a theory that overlooks the specific combination of nutrients, such as calcium and protein, present in cheese products.
"I suppose the 'cheese matrix' does make it sound very mystical," author Emma Feeney tells Business Insider.
"It's really not, it's just a fancy word for the overall structure."
Full disclosure, we reckon these findings should be taken with a grain of salt. But they do back up a similar study, which followed 2,900 American adults for more than two decades. In their analysis of the effect of diary consumption on cardiovascular health, researchers established that full-fat, dairy lovers were at no greater risk of dying from chronic diseases than those with a penchant for low-fat food.
So, in other words: YES, consider this permission to add that side of halloumi to your brekkie tomorrow morning (or just have the whole damn block.)