Let’s call it like it is. Cheese is Dairy Crack.
“I just can’t live without my cheese,” you say. It is one of the most common struggles people have when going PLANTSTRONG.
Here’s the thing. It’s not your fault.
The reason why it’s so darn addicting? Cheese is full of casein, a protein found in all dairy products. When you eat it, casein releases casomorphins, which are opioids that happen to be stronger than morphine. It’s a real addiction.
Cheese is also one of the most concentrated sources of calories, saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol which means your brain floods with dopamine and lights up like a Christmas tree when you eat it.
Milk is specifically designed to help a baby—whether it’s a calf or a human—grow as fast as possible. And since cheese is simply concentrated milk—it, too, is packed with growth hormones and sex steroid hormones like estrogen. As a result, the negative effects of dairy products on the body only become worse with age.
Think about this: When you’ve stopped growing, what do you think all those concentrated growth hormones in cheese help to grow? Tumors and cancer.
Other fun facts:
- Cheese is one of the top 10 contributors of sodium to our diets. Approximately 3.8% of our salt intake comes from cheese.
- What’s the number one source of saturated fat in the Standard American Diet? It’s not meat or eggs. It’s cheese. It’s more than 80 percent fat—and 70 percent saturated.
Isn’t dairy good for your bones? No. It isn’t.
When consumed, animal products create an acidic environment in the bloodstream. In response, the body leeches calcium from the bones in order to neutralize the acid. Consumption of dairy products, especially those which are low- or non-fat (meaning they have a higher percentage of protein), can therefore lead to lower levels of calcium in the body.
One set of studies published by The BMJ analyzing 100,000 people for two decades suggested that consuming dairy can actually increase the rates of bone and hip fractures, which might explain why some of the highest rates of osteoporosis are found in the countries with the highest rates of dairy consumption.
Americans consume more calcium from dairy products than any other nation and yet we have the highest incidence of osteoporosis. Something must give, and it turns out to be your bones.
When you break up with cheese and see it for what it truly is, its siren song disappears. You notice all the commercials trying to trigger you with close-up shots of ooey-gooey melted meat with hefty hormones. Gross.
Like other addictive substances, breaking up with cheese is difficult. Read more about milk and cheese in Rip’s book, The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet, or watch the video below where Rip explains how just one or two ounces of cheese can have devastating effects on your long-term health.
Want to take the leap and give up cheese for a week? Take the free PLANTSTRONG Seven-Day Challenge. We have a library of videos, an overview of what it means to live a whole food, plant-based lifestyle, a bunch of recipes, and friendly support from folks just like you. It’s all waiting for you inside our private community. Invite a friend, take the challenge, and finally stop worshipping at the church of cheese!