Vegan Cheese Tips

Last Updated: April 14, 2024

In western cultures, one of the hardest foods to transition away from is cheese. Those who are vegan by choice love cheese and it usually takes them a while before they can remove it from their diets. It is even harder than meat. Cheese is great on everything: a toasty, a pizza or a selection platter of the finest with a glass of wine. But cheese is not all that and the more you learn about it and get used to not consuming it, the better it is for your diet and the planet.

What Cheese Can Give

Cheese is a great source of calcium, fat, and protein. It also contains high amounts of vitamins A and B-12, along with zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin. High-fat cheeses like blue cheese, Brie, and cheddar contain small amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

It has been suggested that CLA may help prevent obesity, heart disease, and reduce inflammation. Not only does dairy fat include CLA, according to research that looked at dairy consumption and heart health, but full-fat dairy products also appear to provide greater nutrition and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Unfortunately, when dairy is pasteurized with high heat, some beneficial compounds — such as good bacteria and enzymes — are significantly reduced.

Cheese Can Be Bad Too

Some people are sensitive to cheese. Cheese contains lactose, a sugar that can’t be digested by lactose-intolerant people because their bodies lack the enzyme that breaks it down. In these cases, too much lactose can lead to digestive problems including gas and bloating.

Fortunately, some cheeses are very low in lactose, such as Parmesan. People with lactose intolerance may be able to tolerate these.

Up to 60 percent of the world's population cannot digest dairy products - you'd think people would have figured it out by now: cow's milk is for baby cows, just like humans' milk is for human babies.

In addition, 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, which increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Break the Addiction

Health expert Veronika Powell says that what makes cheese so addictive is the extremely high concentration of the milk protein casein that, when digested, results in casomorphins. And casomorphins are opioids, belonging to the same chemical family as morphine and opium, inducing euphoric feelings and lowering pain. But just as morphine and opium, casomorphins are addictive and if you suddenly stop eating cheese, you might experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings.

Try It for 3 Weeks

They say it takes 3 weeks to break a habit. And it is true. The more used you get to not eating cheese, the easier it gets. Order pizzas without the cheese and see how different you feel after eating while at the same time getting that pizza taste you are craving for.

Eating pasta? Grab yourself some cashew parmesan. It may not be the same, but it is just as tasty and adds that missing element that you are used to. And finally, replace your cheese in a toast with hummus and avocado. In the end, you will feel less bloated as well as satisfied that you resisted the temptation!

About the author, Leafy Souls


This is the staff-writer's account for Leafy Souls' blog.

We aim to make ethical consumerism simple with helpful guides, tips, and recipes to inspire you to make the best decisions.

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