Eating cheese will make you 'happier', says leading dairy body

Adding cheese to your pasta will make you happier. [Photo: Getty]
Adding cheese to your pasta will make you happier. [Photo: Getty]

Cheese fans, get ready to feel all sorts of smug.

Science has finally justified what you’ve always known: that cheesy pasta bake really does make you happier.

Adding dairy to your meals makes them more pleasurable, according to the new research. The same effect was found for cheese, butter and cream.

The findings may be taken with a pinch of salt (and – why not – a sprinkle of parmesan) given that the experiment was conducted by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) in collaboration with Dairy UK.

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Nonetheless, in a study of 30 participants, three quarters found their pleasure levels increased by on average 25 per cent when they ate meals which included dairy compared to non-dairy options.

The subjects wore electroencephalogram (EEG) headbands to measure the electrical patterns in their brains, while a psychologist was on hand to monitor their body language and vocal reactions.

They were presented with meals including potatoes with and without butter, garlic bread with and without cheese, apple crumble with and without cream, and granola and fruit with and without yoghurt.

Behavioural psychologist Dr Peter Collett, who worked on the experiment, says: “Generally, people cannot control their brainwaves, so a study like this is a great way to get a more truthful representation of how people feel about dairy.

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“Across the four food groups trialled, more than 82 per cent of the preferences were for dairy over non-dairy.

“With people saying that adding yogurt, butter, cheese or cream made food more ‘moreish’, improved the flavour and added to the texture.”

In other cheese-related news, supermarket giant Sainsbury’s recently launched an all-cheese Easter egg, perfect for those who prefer savoury to sweet foods.

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