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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 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.

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day. Check it out!


Image Source: Kat Jordan/Flickr

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

Click to add comment
Jeremy Ballard
25 Days ago

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.

10 Months Ago

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?]

1 Years Ago

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/

Barbara Charis
13 Apr 2017

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.

1 Years Ago

seems you have no clue about anything- cheese making process to start with (\'mold\' LOL) and that saturated fat is bad- breath taking ignorance. America is not fat and sick because of cheese on pizza but because of the pizza dough . get yourself educated.

01 Dec 2017

Seriously! This is the least-informed article I\'ve read all this year on all subjects combined :-)

1 Years Ago

I\'m pretty sure that should say "udder infections," not "bladder"! It\'s the pus from mastitis which ends up in milk.

I don\'t know why some vegans feel they have to make up bullshit to "promote" veganism. It just ends up making vegans look silly and uninformed, when really the ethical and environmental arguments are more than strong enough alone.

01 Dec 2017

Absolutely. And that 70% thing... the author of this post didn\'t make it up, but someone "scientific" did. I\'m wondering why! [It\'s never more than 35% or so.]

3 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.

3 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
3 Years Ago

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

Joe Means
4 Years Ago

Total garbage. Everything on the internet is NOT true.

26 Aug 2014

totally agree. Garbage info.

4 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?

19 Nov 2016

Saturated fine. Trans fats bad.

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