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, the 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 Kinds of Cheese 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 onto the surface to encourage the growth of 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.
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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, and prostate cancer, and has many side effects.
For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster App which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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The author of this article needs to do some research. Yes it is high in fat, but studies have shown that cheese actually lowers the risk for heart disease & helps control blood sugar. The only fat I avoid is trans fats. Sugar is what causes people to have heart disease. It also makes people sluggish.
This is from a 42-year-old, 145-pound vegetarian cheese lover: 70 percent fat is nonsense. It\’s more like 30 percent. You\’ve listed whatever\’s bad about fatty stuff, rather than what pertains to cheese — and as for the mold part, think about pesticides / hormones / chlorination / hybridization that reduces biodiversity…. and as for rennet, all cheese manufactured in India (for example) is rennet-free. [And you think meat-eaters would care about rennet given that they, um, actually eat slaughtered animals?]
Surprise Surprise….a vegan site saying cheese is bad. Take this with a grain of salt. There are some health benefits of eating cheese. Everything in moderation….as part of a balanced diet. Plenty of vegans neglect their iron intake/
Cheese is concentrated protein and fat. Its a great fuel for the growth of tumors. I learned firsthand back in 1976. A nutritionist told me to eat lots of dairy, because I was expecting a baby. In a short period of time…a lemon sized tumor. Two doctors told me that I needed to have it surgically removed. I prayed and was guided to stop the dairy. Within less than 2-1/2 months the tumor was regressed! Dairy was designed to aid in a 500 pound growth of a calf. It was not designed for the human species. A human baby has only a 14 pound growth its first year. Babies that are put on cow\’s milk develope allergies and problems. Milk is the first food, when infants or calves have no teeth. People in this country are taught rote learning… not analyzation. The manufacturers don\’t want you to think.