When discussing what people eat day in and day out there are some quotes that I can always count on hearing at least once a week.
- “As I get older I don’t tolerate dairy cheese as well.”
- “I used to love milk but now it just doesn’t sit right.”
- “I’m addicted to cheese!”
The themes that come up time and time again are that dairy doesn’t make people feel well, especially as they get older, and they can’t seem to stay away from cheese. And yes – people use the work ‘addicted.’
The Cheese Trap, by Dr. Neal Barnard, helped me to understand why these themes are so common. I know what you’re thinking: “An entire book about cheese? Is this necessary?” But based on Dr. Barnard’s work and my own personal encounters, getting away from this single food may lead to the most significant improvements in your health.
The fact is, dairy is created to be a little addicting. When a mother makes milk for it’s calf its important that the calf drinks it and keeps coming back for more so it will thrive. The little 50 pound calf needs to turn into a 300 pound cow in a matter of months. For this reason, there’s feel-good compounds in milk. Calf drinks, calf gets a dose of happy, happy wears off, calf comes back for more.
Not only does milk give the cute little calf a dose of happy, we get it too. When drinking milk it’s not a huge dose. However, cheese is a very, very, very concentrated form of milk, so there’s a lot of feel-good in each and every bite. This is why I’ve never heard someone say “I’m addicted to milk.” Not once. I’ve heard “I’m addicted to cheese” more times than I can count!
This brings us to the tolerability issue. When we’re born we have the tools to break down the sugar in milk because that’s what we start off eating. Eventually, as we develop, we are no longer dependent on milk so our body gets rid of those tools. For this reason, many people find that as they age, dairy starts to cause digestion issues.
Other issues that Dr. Barnard brings up:
- Estrogen. Dairy comes from a cow (one that’s often pregnant) so you’re getting female sex hormones. Our body makes all of these that it needs and more is NOT better.
- Salt: The huge amount of salt can contribute to high blood pressure.
- Dairy protein: This leads to all types of symptoms for some people – respiratory problems, migraines, arthritis, skin conditions.
- Fat: Since cheese is a concentrated form of milk it is also concentrated cholesterol and saturated fat. Hello increased risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
For me, the most jaw-dropping fact in The Cheese Trap is that the average American eats over 33 POUNDS of cheese every year. Just 100 years ago this number was under 4 pounds. Holy cow!!
Want to experience the benefits of a life without dairy? Commit to going 1 month without any dairy products. Take note of the changes that you experience. After a month you can return to the pizza, ice cream, cheese fries and cheese covered lasagna – but go 100% for a month to fully understand the change it makes.
Don’t go without that delicious cheesy flavor and mouthfeel, keep a batch of Better than Cheese Spread & Queso on hand at all times. Great for using as a dip, spreading on sandwiches, pouring over steamed veggies.. the sky’s the limit.
Found on Amazon: The Cheese Trap