by Kristen Couture
Cheese addiction … Ahhhh that luscious gooey substance that we pile on anything that we can get our hands on- from eggs to potatoes, pasta to meat, from soup to nuts as it were…. Cheese!
What makes this dastardly villain to our health so hard to quit? We know it causes cancer, we know it makes us fat, and yet, still we add it to our otherwise healthy food choices with happiness and vigor! (albeit with the occasional, “I really shouldn’t, buuuuut……”)
Why Cheese Addiction is a Thing
Hold on to your hats folks. You may be surprised to learn that cheese activates some of the same reward and pleasure centers as sex, chocolate, and crack cocaine. Seriously, I’m not exaggerating… Let me explain:
Cheese is abundant in salt, fat, and opiates. The human body needs salt for various physiological functions, but as anyone can attest to who has tried to sit down and have “a” pretzel, salt is hard to resist, and activates the reward center in our brains, which in turn starts to pump out dopamine, the very same “feel good” neurotransmitter released when we are falling in love and having sex. Melt the cheese, and you have a greasy, salty combination that is as irresistible as Jamie Fraser in a kilt. (you may have to google that…. Trust me.)
Now let’s add opiates to the above dalliance…
Cheese is loaded with a milk protein called Casein. Casein is a unique protein which releases amino acid fragments called caso-MORPHINS. Yeah you got it, little buggers that are morphine like compounds, which attach to the same neuro-receptors in our brains that heroin and other narcotics attach to. These casomorphins have a calming effect and also release the previously mentioned dopamine, creating the perfect storm for indulgence in this diabolical delight.
Now that you know the “why” about cheese addiction, let me remind you of the dangers.
What's Wrong with Conventional Cheese
Besides the hormone disruption, antibiotic exposure, and mucous formation that occurs when we ingest dairy products, studies show that casein causes cancer. Cancer can actually be turned on and off by the introduction and then the withdrawal of the casein protein. In addition, don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are providing your body with needed calcium by partaking of cheese. Milk proteins create an acidic environment in the body which lay the foundations and perfect conditions for inflammation and subsequent disease to take hold. Our bodies are aware that an acidic environment is a dangerous place to be and so it attempts to buffer the environment with what it has on hand….. Calcium. When easily accessible calcium stores have been depleted, your body will ask your bones to kick in their share. Yes, dairy proteins actually leach calcium from your bones! *
How to Quit
So what are all of us honest-hearted folks with a cheese addiction to do?
Well, you can go cold turkey, but expect that there may be signs of cheese addiction withdrawal… mood swings, anger, sadness, cravings…
If that approach is too daredevil for you, try a slower withdrawal. Limit cheese to once per day, and in very small quantities. Over a period of a week or so reduce how much cheese you ingest until you are down to nothing. You may still experience some “weirdnesses”, but hang in there. Eventually it will get out of your system and it will go more smoothly for you. A tiny little detail about cheese and dairy products in general that helps me when I inadvertently find myself admiring the cheese wheels at Whole Foods is that cheese contains a level of pus. Yes pus. Dairy products are allowed to contain a certain amount of pus cells and still be healthy enough to be sold to consumers…. Ewe.
Lastly, seek out the help of a NAET practitioner. These guys address allergies, sensitivities, and multiple issues associated with emotional eating, cravings, addictions of all kinds (including cheese addiction!), and unpleasant side effects from eating items that cause dysfunction in our bodies.
If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying.
You CAN slay the beast! And your body will thank you for it with a slimmer, sleeker look, better skin, clockwork digestion, and fewer allergies and intolerances.
*Nutrition Studies, T. Colin Cambpell
+Food Matters, April 23, 2009, How Many Pus Cells Are In Your Milk?, Charlotte Gerson
Author: Kristen L Couture, CNAETP, CTN, Transition to Health, Mashpee, MA, firstname.lastname@example.org