Is Cheese Healthy?
Americans especially are eating far too much cheese but more importantly the wrong kinds of cheese and as a result of this, amongst other toxic processed foods, diabetes and obesity along with disease & illnesses are a dilemma here and this is part of the problem.
Listen to your body
There is not a definitive yes or no because although some cheeses have been shown to have a lot of nutrients many people have allergies and don’t even know it and most cheese is low quality and terrible for you so if I have to give an answer I will tell you that I don’t eat it and for most people I do not suggest it.
How do you listen to your body? It’s based on how you feel after eating certain foods, and food combinations. How you feel when you quit them for a period of time and how you feel when you go back to them. When eating any type of cheese, do you have bloating, gas, upset stomach, cramps, diaerheria, skin issues like rash, acme, dry skin, do you get sick often, feel tired a lot? Do you have ear infections, joint or lower back pain? If yes to any of these then it’s probably best you avoid it and see if any of these symptoms continue.
Qualities of Cheese
Most of what is called cheese in our supermarkets is not actually cheese at all, and no one having anything to do with health or nutrition would recommend them. I will tell you if you are going to eat cheese only get high quality raw organic cheese because pasteurized cheese is extremely difficult to digest. Pasteurized dairy also supports factory farming and abuse towards animals. Anything that says “pasteurized process” on it should be avoided.
You have to go out of your way to buy raw organic cheese and it’s expensive, around $30 a pound and up, so if you are not sure if your cheese is high quality, organic, or raw, then it’s not.
The reason you should always buy cheese organic is that fat carries the largest doses of the hormones and antibiotics that are used in non-organic livestock. Organic grass-fed cheese is free of antibiotics and growth hormones. And Non-organic most often has gmo’s in it.
An ingredient in cheese called Rennet is an enzyme used to turn milk into curd for cheese making. There are two types of rennet that are commonly used.
- 1. Is animal rennet which is traditionally used and it’s taken from calfs, yes baby cows since you can’t get this from adult cows, so if you wouldn’t eat veal because of the abuse of animals such as taking away baby cows from their mother and killing them, or you are vegetarian, than don’t eat cheese. But most cheese especially in the US from:
- Vegetable or fermented rennet. Most vegetable and all fermented or FPC rennet is genetically modified or GMO this is illegal in cheeses sold in Europe, but is legal in the US.
If you want to avoid the abuse of animal situation, then avoid it all together or else look for organic cheese from vegetable rennet.
Another a big cause of stomach issues having to do with cheese is poor food combining. Mixing cheese with meat or cheese with starch like pasta is bad food combining since meat, dairy and starch are digested in different areas of the body with different enzymes so this can cause gas, bloating acid reflux and other digestive problems leading to sickness or disease. That means avoiding cheeseburgers, meat sauce with cheese, grilled cheese, Mac and cheese, pizza but for more on this see my blog on food combining.
Some of the benefits of organic Raw cheese made from the milk of pastured animals:
• Grass fed or pasture raised has healthy omega-3 fats in the proper ratio with omega-6, unlike factory farmed cheese or meat.
• It has 5 times the CLA of grain-fed cheese – CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), which is a powerful cancer-fighter and metabolism booster
• And has more enzymes, and higher vitamins and minerals and good bacteria
• And High-Quality organic Cheese can has a great trio of vitamin D3, vitamin K2, and calcium, which together are vitally important for reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis and organ health.
As mentioned I don’t’ eat cheese but if you are going to eat it always get dairy products with the fat left in them rather than low fat or skim milk products in order to get these benefits. Fats slow down absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. this may help with diabetes, weight loss and other issues.
If you do eat cheese to get the benefits here are some to eat in moderation:
Gouda, Brie, and Edam cheese, because they have the highest amounts of vitamin K2. Other good high-quality cheeses are cheddar, Swiss, Colby, Gruyere, and hard goat cheese.
Cheeses to especially avoid:
90% of standard grocery store cheeses are made from the milk of CAFO cows or factory farms, which are terrible for the cow, for us, and the environment.
- Avoid American Cheese – not cheese but a “cheese food” since it is not 100% cheese. It has food colorings and other unhealthy ingredients like yellow 6 and tartrazine.
- Avoid Velveeta
- Avoid Cheese Wiz
These are not real cheese. Other processed cheeses to avoid are the one’s packaged in bottles and be spreadable just like peanut butter or in aerosol cans that can be sprayed. These use toxic emulsifiers and gmo canola oil to get them to spray. Additives like sodium phosphate, sodium citronate and various coloring agents in cheeses
I also don’t like many of the ingredients in commercial vegan cheese or vegan butter and don’t recommend them. They are almost all highly processed, They are often made of soy, combination of oil, isolated plant proteins, and chemicals.
See this link for some vegan cheese recipes that I like:
vegan cheeses - http://www.chooseveg.com/11-vegan-cheese-recipes-that-will-change
For an extensive website about cheeses, including a database that's searchable by name, country of origin, type of milk, and even texture, you might enjoy Cheese.com.
Those with an actual milk allergy must strictly avoid dairy in any form, including cheese. Symptoms of a milk allergy can include asthma, eczema, gastrointestinal distress, as well as bleeding, pneumonia, and even anaphylaxis (shock).
Different from both allergies and lactose intolerance, some people have a sensitivity to the casein (a type of protein) in milk. This sensitivity can trigger inflammation throughout the body, which may produce symptoms such as sinus congestion, acne flares, skin rash and migraines.
Rennet – http://www.consumethisfirst.com/2011/11/14/what-is-rennet-and-should-i-eat-it/
fake cheeses – http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/17/heart-healthy-cheese.aspx
raw – http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/26/france-raw-milk-cheese.aspx
sodium in cheese chart and k2 in cheese – http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/17/heart-healthy-cheese.aspx
pasteurization and homogenization — https://draxe.com/pasteurization-homogenization-101/