Is it Cheddar, or a Mozzarella on your pizza that you can’t stop eating? Or a molten lava Gruyere that you just can’t resist? Continuing with Brie and Gouda, among others, just as an appetizer.
But, did you know that you can develop an addiction to cheese, as easily as to any of the most addictive drugs? If cheese is one of the main ingredients of any of your meals, then you have a problem.
Loads of calories, high levels of sodium, and with more cholesterol than steak, and several different hormones, will only make you love it even more. This can affect your health in a long way, but it is not your fault in its entirety if you develop cheese addiction, as there is scientific evidence behind it.
However, you should stop eating so much cheese, as it is unhealthy, remember, loads of calories. Since the 1970s cheese consumption has quadrupled and it isn’t stopping any time soon.
The reason behind the increase is most economical, as the prices of the cheese dropped, and cheese is now served as an appetizer and mixed and cooked with the main dish.
Let’s break it to you why you love cheese so much.
The Science of Cheese Addiction
First, you need to know how cheese is made; you need around 10 pounds (4.5kg) of milk to produce just around 1 pound (0.5kg) of cheese. Now, why this is important? Well, milk contains a protein named casein, which in Latin means cheese.
Found in already large doses in milk, it only increases in cheese as you need loads of milk in order to make cheese. Once casein reaches your digestive tract it is dissolved into protein fragments, called casomorphin.
These fellas are opioids, just like morphine, and can and will tangle with the dopamine receptors in your brain. This means that the more cheese you eat, the more casein is in your body, and with that, casomorphin is easily transmitted to your brain, resulting in a dopamine release, putting a happy face from ear to ear.
Which Cheese is Most Addictive?
In order to avoid getting addicted to cheese, you will need to know the numbers behind the goodness of its taste. Just a cup of milk contains 7.7 grams of protein, and 80% of this is the notorious casein.
When making cheddar, you get 56 grams of protein (you also get its famous orange color, but that’s a story for another article). This is the most concentrated form of casein in any food in the grocery store.
Another type of cheese that is equally or even more addictive is the popular Parmesan, officially called Parmigiano-Reggiano, which has 10g of protein in 28grams of cheese.
These two are followed by Gouda, non-fat Mozzarella, and many others, all that will make you love them more as you eat more and more.
Can You Cure Cheese Addiction?
There is no official cure, of course, but yes you can get off the cheese, but it takes time, like any other addiction. However, this doesn’t have so severe consequences like drug addiction.
Nonetheless, you can get extremely fat by eating too much cheese, and in some cases develop a struggling problem with obesity.
So, how do you cure your cheese addiction? Restrain, new food, other healthy snacks, or something different?
Of course, you will try to eat less cheese, much less. However, as this kind of addiction can’t kill you at an instant, you should try and construct your own cheese-less diet.
At first, you skip one day without cheese; forget about your 10 PM cheese cravings and 8 AM breakfast with cheese as an appetizer. Go steady with day to day reductions of cheese consumption.
Try with just one day a week without the infamous fat and salty gold, and as the weeks go by, introduce more days without cheese, until eventually, you defeat your addiction.
Alternatives to Dairy Cheese
If you want to get off the cheese, there are some great alternative foods you can eat as much, without the negative effect on your body and health.
One such alternative is nut cheese; fermented nut milk gives you a solid substitution for real cheese. You can get nut cheese from several different sorts of nut trees, like almonds and even sunflowers and from pumpkin seeds.
If you are buying nut cheese in a store, you must pay attention to those with high levels of sodium oil and preservatives.
Main Meal Without Dairy Cheese
Do you tend to add dairy creamy textures to your main dish, just to add that extra flavor? If so, then your next step will be stopping it.
Use some of the plant-based flavors that will add to your meal that spark that you crave.
You can try avocados and even blended white beans, among others. This won’t affect the taste negatively, try it.
Experiment With Other Flavors
Cheese is certainly one of the main flavors you add to your food and this just has to stop. Leave the cheese off of the food you eat every day.
Try pizza even without the creamy layer, and prepare yourself to be surprised.
Make a sandwich without cheese but add something different that you will love as much as cheese, but without that fear for your health.
As you grow older, your metabolism changes and you become prone to developing problems with digesting different sorts of food. 75 percent of people as they get older lose the ability to digest lactose, the sugar contained in milk and dairy products.
Negative effects include diarrhea, bloating and flatulence, and vomiting, among others. This is just one reason why you should hold-off cheese.
Nutritional Yeast (Nooch)
You should be looking at the first aid kit in the nutritional yeast, or popularly called ‘nooch’. It is basically a spice for those that are on a vegan-based diet and you can find it in the spice aisle at most grocery stores.
A nutty and cheesy flavor is guaranteed and is as healthy as it can be. Don’t worry, this kind of yeast is not active so you won’t be having a loaf of bread baking in your stomach after consuming it.
Last but not least, maybe even the most important. You need the will and patience to change the bad habit of eating cheese every day and consuming it with every meal and alone.
However, change doesn’t come overnight, and for this, you must be armed with patience. Just start slowly, day by day and you will see that you can accomplish the plan.
If one day you succumb to that yellow and white gold, just return to a cheese-free diet the next day and start over, this time with more will to change.
Just two weeks and taste sensations change and you won’t be that much drawn to the dairy crack, as some nutritionists call cheese, due to its addictiveness.
Now that you know that you can easily get hooked on cheese, make small but certain steps towards ending your addiction. It is never too late to seek professional health from nutritionists and ask for their advice. You can even go full 180° and delete the cheese from your diet.
You are now familiar with how this mild, but still dangerous addiction works; before you know it, you will be eating more cheese a day that it is healthy for the entire weak.
Yes, you will be happy because of the morphine-like opioid that is tangling with your brain, but you need to know that there is so much more happening in the background, and it is not good for you in the long run.
The first battle is to restrain yourself from eating cheese at all if you want to get it out of your brain, as the desire for cheese is in fact, they’re created.
Nevertheless, casein is indeed healthy, but only in certain doses as it boosts muscle growth and also helps the recovery of the muscles, and reduces muscle breakdown while you are asleep. That’s why cheese and bodybuilding go hand to hand.
Also, it’s the main reason behind the consumption of milk before going to bed.