Many people who tried going vegan would agree that it's easy to let go of chicken, beef, and fish, but it's hard to give up cheese. So what is something about cheese that makes it hard for people to let it go? Is it just in our mind, or is it something in cheese that science says is addictive as drugs?
It's the Casomorphins
One kind of protein in cow's milk is called casein. Casein is the protein used by bodybuilders to gain more muscle mass, just like whey protein in them. (1) Since cheese is the firm version of cow's milk, of course, it also contains casein. However, cheese contains about 7 times more casein in comparison to cow's milk. (2) (3) And when casein is ingested and digested in our body, it will be broken down by the body.
During this process, it produces a substance called casomorphins. Doesn't it sound like morphine? Yes, it is because Casomorphins attach to the same brain receptors as morphine. People aren't as addicted to cheese as morphine, but the casomorphins in it are just enough to make it addictive and challenging for us to let go. But ff casein is also found in cow's milk, why we're not addicted to milk? In this case, it's Because the cheese has seven times more casein than cow's milk. So many of us are addicted to cheese but not to cow's milk per see.
Health issues with cheese
Cheese is salty. But cow's milk is not. This is because a lot of salt is put in the cheese. Salt can contribute to an increase in blood pressure, especially if you are sensitive to it. And of course, high blood pressure can increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and many more. (4) If you are married and plan to have a child, cheese is not the best food option.
Because male who eat more cheese, they are less likely to have good sperm morphology and motility, which means the shape and the ability for them to "swim" is less. (5) If you love your husband or your future husband, asking them to stop or avoiding cheese would be a good idea.
Many still think that cheese is an excellent source of calcium for the bone. Many parents give cheese in their children's lunchboxes, thinking that it's good for them. It's true that cheese has a good amount of calcium. However, research by Walter Willet from Harvard in 2020 shows that when a country consumes more dairy, they tend to have a higher bone fracture. (6) You can get enough calcium by eating diverse plant foods without hormones or cholesterol, like cheese.