Cheese lovers, rejoice. A new report in the British Medical Journal suggests that butter and cheese may not be as bad for your heart as previously thought.
Published Wednesday, the report states that long-maligned saturated fats actually have little impact on your risks of heart disease and stroke and could even protect against these conditions.
Dr. Aseem Malhotra, an interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital, London, wrote in the journal that fears about saturated fats have "dominated dietary advice and guidelines for almost four decades" but have "paradoxically increased our cardiovascular risks."
Dairy products, which are high in saturated fat, are also rich in vitamins A and D, calcium and phosophorous. However, consumers should be clear not to confuse saturated fats with trans fats, often found in packaged foods and fast food.
Malhotra suggests a shift in focus from patients' overall cholesterol, or blood fat, to whether or not they have a healthy balance of cholesterol from different food types.