As emphasized on Collective Evolution, cheese is one of the most popular ingredients in American cuisine and it can be found in almost every traditional American comfort food. Hence, when we think about it, it does not actually come as a surprise to learn that a lot of people are actually addicted to cheese without being aware!
Cheese Is Addictive? Really?!
Although you may be skeptical at first, you should know that dairy has a chemical which is very similar to morphine. Namely, researchers found a protein, known as casein, back in 1981, which is present in all mammals, including humans and cows. Further on, when we eat cheese and it begins to digest, the casein secretes opiates or casomorphins.
They are members of the opioid family, same as morphine, and yes, you can become addicted to cheese! And, most of the cheese we commonly eat is made from cow’s milk and it has at least ten times more the amount of casomorphins in comparison to the milk we get when breastfed by our mothers. When milk is being processed into cheese, around 10 pounds of it are needed to produce a pound of cheese and therefore, the casomorphins are pretty concentrated.
But, this does not mean that you will get “high” if you eat a lot of dairy, but it just help us to have a better understanding of why we feel strong cravings for this type of food and why it is the favorite of many. To note, the consumption of cheese has almost tripled in the U.S. since the 50s and the obesity rates with it too.
Why Should We Break the Habit?
Nowadays, there is a large number of data supporting the claim that most humans are lactose-intolerant because our bodies do not have the power to break down and digest cheese and other dairy products properly. Moreover, there are also evidence showing that there is a connection between regular intake of dairy and serious health problems like gastrointestinal disorders, osteoporosis, and cancer.
Another major reason why we need to put cheese and other dairy products aside is the dairy industry where the cows which are being raised for dairy are put to live in horrible conditions and are impregnated throughout their whole lives and injected with horrible antibiotics and synthetic hormones. Unfortunately, their babies are taken away from them at birth, which is a traumatic experience for both the child and the mother. By eating such foods in large quantities, we are actually supportive of this industry.
How to Lead a Mindful Diet?
As noted on Collective Evolution, we do not need to give up cheese and dairy entirely to make a difference. We just need to be more cautious about the amount we consume. Namely, according to statistics, the average American eats around 30 pounds of cheese on a yearly basis. Therefore, it is crucial to cut down our consumption and eat it more as a treat rather than as a core of our diet.
Useful Tips for Transition
If you are planning on reducing the amount of cheese and dairy in your daily diet, you should be aware of some great cheese alternatives like gourmet cheeses made from nuts and seeds and other variants. They are available in specialty stores and health food stores. You can also make your own homemade cheese, for example, with nutritional yeast and cashews. Yummy!