I remember giving up milk and dairy products when I was vegan in the 2000s. Meat wasn’t too hard to cut from my diet but that damn dairy – especially cheese!
I miss it a lot.
The cravings aren’t entirely surprising, as I found out after reading more that dairy contains an addictive compound.
As stated in a Forbes article That quote from Dr. Neil Barnard
“It turns out there’s a reason behind our cravings. Cheese contains casein. It also contains fragments of casein called casomorphin, a morphine-like compound derived from casein. Basically, milk protein contains opium Molecules are created. When consumed, these fragments attach to the same brain receptors that heroin and other drugs attach to.
‘These opiates attach to the same brain receptors that heroin and morphine attach to. They’re not strong enough to arrest you, but they’re strong enough to keep you coming back for more, even after your thighs stretch out before your eyes.’ – Dr. Neil Barnard, author of cheese trap
Some researchers believe that this occurs as a way to ensure that infants (humans, cows, etc.) continue to nurse during infancy, which helps the species survive. This helps explain why we look so happy while nursing and why cheese tastes so good. For perspective, one cup of milk contains 7.7 grams of protein, 80% of which is casein. When converted to cheddar, for example, the protein content increases 7-fold, to 56 grams. It is the most concentrated form of casein in any grocery store food. Basically, if milk is cocaine, then cheese is crack.
Our brain’s ‘reward center’ releases dopamine when we eat salty foods like cheese to encourage us to eat more (Many addictive drugs increase dopamine activity) Dopamine makes our body attracted to anything it produces, including cheese. That’s why so many people crave it, talk about it, and why even animal-loving vegetarians have a hard time giving it up.
No wonder dairy is hard to stop. We are programmed to love it.
In our next blog we will discuss what the best choices are if you choose to eat dairy.
Did you want a sneak peek?
Try the alternative
Shop A2 Casein Products
Goat milk shop