By Denny Watkins
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 flavor sucked out along with the fat.
So it’s hardly an appetizing proposition. And for what real benefit? Fewer calories and a lower risk of heart disease? Not so fast.
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“The combination of protein and fat in regular, full-fat cheese is very satiating,” says Alan Aragon, a nutritionist in Westlake Village, California, and the Men’s Health Weight-Loss Coach.
“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.”
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 1-ounce servings of full-fat cheese for 3 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. “Cheese is the new wine,” says Terrance Brennan, chef and owner of Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro & Wine Bar and Picholine restaurant, both in New York City.
“There are thousands of different aromas, textures, and flavor profiles.”