It is extremely easy to find cheese in any American dishes. They are widely available in American comfort food. Its wide availability is one of the reason many actually have an addiction towards cheese.
It may seem a little farfetched to associate cheese with addiction, but it is actually plausible. The dairy products in cheese have chemicals which are almost the same as morphine. There is a specific protein which is available in humans and cows known as casein, discovered by researchers in 1981. Ingesting dairy products cause the casein to release substances known as casomorphins. This substance, casomorphin, is an opiate which is derived from the same opioid family as morphine. Because it is an opiate, the casein in cheese can actually make one addicted to cheese, or cheese based products.
This probably explained why I remembered thinking that I could not give up eating cheese, when I had started to make some major dietary modifications by trying to omit processed foods, animal derived food products and meat.
How could Cheese become so much addictive?
It seems to me that not having cheese in my life is an impossible goal to achieve. After removing cheese off my diet, I still have cravings for it, since I have formed an addiction towards cheese. However, years have passed, and I think I have recovered from my addiction, and I am lucky to have found substitutes for all the cheese I am missing from my life!
A human child needs milk to provide nutrition for the growth of infants. It also helps enhance the connection between mother and child. Casomorphins in our Mother’s milk is important for both the infant and the mother.
However, cows’ milk actually has about 10 times more casomorphin content, compared to the Human Mother’s milk. The concentration of casomorphins in cheese is also extremely high, as it uses up 10 pounds of cow’s milk to produce one pound of cheese.
While cheese products do not make you get a drug induced high or explain the need to consult the help of an addiction therapist, it does however explain our love for cheese. There is also no need to worry about going to rehab because you have a cheese addiction! It isn’t like an alcohol or recreational drug!
However, cheese and dairy products can actually create a strong dependence in you towards it, creating very powerful cravings for it. These cravings make it difficult for us to eliminate cheese completely from our diet. Such is the power of addiction towards cheese; its consumption in America has tripled over the years. A large consumption of cheese in America has led to the major health problem, obesity.
There is a need for us to get over our addiction of cheese
It is shocking to actually know that most of us are actually lactose intolerant. Being lactose intolerant is the inability to break down and digest cheese and other dairy products. Aside from obesity, the increased consumption of dairy products has been linked to gastrointestinal disorders, various forms of cancer, and ironically osteoporosis! These are just some of the serious health issues which arise with the consumption of cheese and dairy products.
According to Dr. Campbell, author of ‘The China Study,’ cows’ milk has been directly or indirectly linked with cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and a wide spectrum of diseases related to allergies. The statements are backed by published scientific studies from journals, some of which are decades old, which show long time evidence against cows’ milk. Dr. Campbell asserts that there are better alternatives to cows’ milk to obtain nutrients.
The consumption of cheese not only harms humans. The cows bred for their milk are put in horrible living conditions. They are forced to be pregnant throughout their lives, while being injected with synthetic hormones and antibiotics. These drugs are later passed into the milk, which is then ingested by humans, causing various health problems. What’s worse, the farmers at these dairy farms also take away the calves from their mothers, further worsening the experience of the cows!
What can we do to make a difference?
We should be aware of the consumption of cheese by the average American, which is about 30 pounds of cheese in a single year. We can reduce our consumption of cheese, only taking it on special occasions, rather than every day. There are various alternatives and substitutes available if you want to eliminate dairy products from your diet.
Some brands which are available in grocery stores include, Daiya, Sheese, and Follow Your Heart. Instead of dairy products, some cheeses are now made of nuts and seeds. These are known as gourmet vegan cheeses which are sold in health food stores and specialty shops. These products are so good; it will be hard to differentiate them from the regular old dairy cheese! Click Here to try out one of my favorite recipes, ‘Mac’ n’ ‘Cheeze’ using vegan cheese. I have also tried making cheese out of nuts too! If you like cheese on pizza toppings, or in salads or wraps, try the Baked Almond Feta or Vegan Cashew Brie!
Plenty of recipes are available online, where they use homemade cheese substitutes, from nutritional yeast and cashews. Stay healthy, and remain compassionate about life!