Vegans know all too well the omnivores’ favorite remark, ‘I could never give up cheese’.
But while they may love cheese – it doesn’t love them back.
Up to 60 percent of the world’s population cannot digest dairy products – you’d think people would have figured it out by now: cow’s milk is for baby cows, just like humans’ milk is for human babies.
Here are five reasons why you should ditch cheese from your diet.
1. Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine [PCRM]: “Americans eat more than 33 pounds of cheese per person per year – three times more than they did in 1970.”
This is a problem, because cheese is the number one source of saturated fat in the American diet.
PCRM says: “Cheese is a high-calorie product loaded with fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Typical cheeses are 70 percent fat.
“And the type of fat they contain is mainly saturated (‘bad’) fat, which increases [the] risk of heart disease and diabetes.”
2. Cheese is addictive
Ever wondered why some people find it so hard to give up cheese?
Viva! Health expert Veronika Powell says: “What makes cheese so addictive is the extremely high concentration of the milk protein casein that, when digested, results in casomorphins.
“And casomorphins are opioids, belonging to the same chemical family as morphine and opium, inducing euphoric feelings and lowering pain.
“But just as morphine and opium, casomorphins are addictive and if you suddenly stop eating cheese, you might experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings.”
According to Powell, it takes about 10 pounds of milk to make just one pound of cheese, and it’s mostly water that’s lost in the process.
“That means cheese is very high in protein (casein) compared to other dairy products,” she says.
3. Bloomy rinds
This is as disgusting as it sounds…
According to PETA: “Cheesemakers spray the outside of soft, slimy cheeses like brie with mold to create a white rind.
“The next time someone tries to shove a brie-slathered cracker at you, you might want to say, hold the mold’.”
In a feature about cheesemaking, howstuffworks.com says: “Soft-ripened cheeses like brie are made with bacteria that makes them start ripening on the outside first.
“Mold is often sprayed on to the surface to encourage the growth of white, ‘bloomy’ rinds.”
Many people are surprised to learn that cow’s milk contains pus.
The reason? Mastitis – the inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue.
Animal rights charity PETA says: “Cheese – like all dairy products – contains pus from cows whose udders get bacterial infections when the cows are treated like milk machines by the dairy industry.”
According to Dr. Greger’s writing for nutritionfacts.org, clinical mastitis is responsible for one in six dairy cow deaths on U.S. dairy farms.
He adds: “This level of disease is reflected in the concentration of somatic cells in the American milk supply.
“Somatic cell counts greater than a million per teaspoon are abnormal and ‘almost always’ caused by mastitis.
“When a cow is infected, greater than 90 percent of the somatic cells in her milk are neutrophils, the inflammatory immune cells that form pus.
“The average somatic cell count in U.S. milk per spoonful is 1,120,000.”
Dr. G says that according to his calculations, there is ‘not much’ pus in a glass of milk – he believes it’s unlikely the average cup of milk in the United States would contain more than a single drop of pus.
He adds: “The accumulation of pus is a natural part of an animal’s defense system.
“So pus itself isn’t a bad thing, we just may not want to have it in our mouth.”
5. The dairy industry is cruel
All dairy products rely on the institutionalized cruelty of the dairy industry.
According to animal rights charity PETA: “Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do: to nourish their young.
“In order to force them to continue producing milk, factory farm operators typically impregnate them using artificial insemination every year.
“Calves are generally torn away from their mothers within a day of birth, which causes them both extreme distress.
“Mother cows can be heard calling for their calves for days. Male calves are destined to end up in cramped veal crates or barren feedlots where they will be fattened for beef, and females are sentenced to the same sad fate as their mothers.”
According to PETA, cows have a natural lifespan of around 20 years, but dairy cows are generally sent to slaughter aged four to five.