In an effort to study how diet affects long-term weight gain, researchers have spent the past 16 years analyzing the diets of 120,000 men and women in three separate long-term studies. The researchers' efforts were recently published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, where they revealed a number of noteworthy discoveries: Diets rich in red and processed meats were heavily linked with weight gain. Eating more yogurt, seafood, nuts and skinless chicken, on the other hand, is most closely associated with maintaining a healthy body weight.
But for cheese addicts, the most exciting finding may be what the group discovered about dairy: Full fat cheese and whole and low-fat milk didn't appear to tip the scale in either direction. In other words, contrary to popular belief, milk fat doesn't lead to long-term weight gain.