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5 Alarming Facts About Cheese And Your Health



A few years ago, Domino’s sales were falling, so the restaurant changed its entire pizza recipe. They launched a big marketing campaign and Americans loved the change. According to The New York Times, Domino’s teamed up with a company called Dairy Management “to develop a new line of pizzas with 40 percent more cheese … consumers devoured the cheesier pizza, and sales soared by double digits.”

Americans do seem to love cheese. Though it’s a staple food for many, cheese is bad for our health, and we’re eating too much of it. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Americans eat more than 33 pounds of cheese per person per year—three times more than they did in 1970—and our country is more obese than ever … Cheese is a high-calorie product loaded with fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Typical cheeses are 70 percent fat. And the type of fat they contain is mainly saturated (“bad”) fat.”

When you look at the facts, it’s clear that cheese is pretty awful. Here are five alarming facts about cheese and your health.

1. Cheese has become Americans’ largest source of saturated fat

According to a 2010 article published by The New York Times, that Domino’s pizza with 40 percent more cheese contained about 2/3 the amount of your recommended daily intake of saturated fat — in just one slice! With restaurants and processed cheese companies selling fatty products like that, no wonder the U.S. has an obesity epidemic.

2. Many cheeses are made using an animal stomach enzyme

Cheese can be made with rennet, which is made from an enzyme that comes from calves’ stomach linings. You can find some cheese labeled as vegetarian, but otherwise, they probably contain rennet. According to The Vegetarian Society, “The traditional source of rennet is the stomach of slaughtered newly-born calves. Vegetarian cheeses are manufactured using rennet from either fungal/bacterial sources or genetically modified micro-organisms.”

3. Cheese can contain pus from cows’ bladder infections

Poor manufacturing practices make cheese an unhealthy choice. According to Peta, “They [the cows] are treated like milk-producing machines and are genetically manipulated and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones that cause them to produce more milk. While cows suffer on factory farms, humans who drink their milk increase their chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other ailments.”

4. Cheese can cause diabetes and heart disease

According to the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, “one-fourth of an average 12-inch cheese pizza contains nearly 13 grams of fat, including 6 grams of saturated fat and 27 milligrams of cholesterol.” All of that packs on the calorie content too, thus packing on the weight. Consuming too much cheese can lead to diseases further down the road.

5. Cheesemakers spray on mold to make the rind

Yes, that’s correct — cheese can contain mold content. For some cheeses like brie, cheesemakers will spray mold on to the surface to encourage the growth for white rinds. Gross! Would you like some mold with that cheese? No thanks.

Luckily, there are many vegan cheese alternatives available at the grocery store. Even better, make your own dairy-free cheese using this recipe.

Image Source: Kat Jordan/Flickr

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283 comments on “5 Alarming Facts About Cheese And Your Health”

Click to add comment
1 Years Ago

Actually, according to research I\'ve done, while the traditional source of rennet is the (fourth) stomach of a calf, most cheese today is not made that way. It would be far too expensive to make cheese if that were the case. Instead, the huge majority of cheese out there is made with synthetically produced rennet.

1 Years Ago

This article is kind of stupid. I\'m a vegan but cmon get some better reasons... mold on the rind??? To me it looks like the same \'mold\' that you see in tempeh. Nothing gross about that.

Joe Stevens
1 Years Ago

So... two of these \'facts\' are about your health... riiight

Joe Means
2 Years Ago

Total garbage. Everything on the internet is NOT true.

26 Aug 2014

totally agree. Garbage info.

2 Years Ago

I have recently read that fat is not the problem, but refined sugar and flour. In your #1 statement you seem to be continuing the belief that fat is bad and is the sole thing that makes one fat. Is it the saturated fats that are the exception to fats being good rule?

2 Years Ago

You had me until the mold comment. I don\'t eat cheese (currently), but your emotional response to mold isn\'t based on anything related to health.

Carol Garvin
2 Years Ago

"Everything in Moderation?" Really? If your house was on fire, would you add a little gasoline in moderation? That's what's happening to your arteries...they're fill with fat when you eat fat. So add more in moderation? NO! Well, unless you don't like living a longer healthier life, and prefer getting sliced open on the operating table....or the autopsy table.

25 Mar 2014

I see that you have very little understanding of digestion (or anything else for that matter)! No, your arteries do not "fill up with fat when you eat fat". Please do a tiny bit of research and have a look at cultures who eat even more fat than we do, and yet are much healthier than we are.

Michael Sanderson
29 Aug 2014

Stupid analogy. A Swiss person , or French , would look at you as retarded if you avoided quality cheeses. Don\'t buy crappy cheese and don\'t eat it on a crappy hamburger . Good cheese paired with appropriate foods is beneficial. Voyons donc !

Amy L. Walker
2 Years Ago

Don't really eat cheese. Maybe once or twice a month

Cara McMaster
2 Years Ago

Don't eat as much cheese. It is a treat around my house not a staple.

Douglas D Eden
2 Years Ago

we evolved as omnivores and thats the most natural state for human bodies and its also the most pleasurable diet so Im staying that way

25 Aug 2014

No other omnivore consumes the milk of another species but us, so your excuse is illogical.

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