How Much Cheese Is Too Much?

grated-cheeseCheese is an incredibly concentrated form of milk. In our house, we have made fresh mozzarella from a full gallon of raw milk. After removing the small pork-tenderloin sized piece of cheese from the cheesecloth, my three children came down and devoured nearly all of it with a sprinkle of salt.

Three children devoured a almost a gallon of milk’s worth of cheese.  That’s equal to over 5 glasses of milk per kid – in about 5 minutes. The raw milk I used from Jersey cows contained incredibly nutritious protein and fats, but the lactose sugar in milk is a simple sugar, like pure glucose.  And the protein in milk is remarkably good at triggering insulin – the hormone that turns sugar into fat and pushes protein into muscle. Furthermore, milk and cheese have no fiber to slow down the sugar effect so your insulin response, the message to build a bigger body, is both large and fast.

This big and brisk insulin response, along with a dietary load of sugar and protein, is a great way to replenish proteins and glycogen in a lean honed athlete that is training aggressively. But, what if you are not lean? The message from milk and cheese is to build a bigger body. And if you didn’t just train for two hours and your body is big enough already, the concentrated nutritional load in milk and cheese will go to build unwanted fat and triglycerides. You can test your insulin, and calculate your HOMA-IR to see whether you are already a high insulin secreter and one who should avoid or limit dairy and cheese products.

So, cheese needs to be respected. It is easy to eat too much, with the bulky water was filtered out, a lot of nutrition is in a small volume. Comparatively, aged cheese and especially raw aged cheese like pecorino Romano and Parmesan have minimal amounts of lactose sugar due to the enzyme action during the months in the rind. And these aged cheeses are used as condiments – in teaspoon doses not as main courses.

Three Cheese Rules in Your Blood Code Diet – especially if you feel you are big enough already.

  1. Choose long-aged cheese, especially raw aged cheese over fresh cheeses like mozzarella.
  2. Use cheese as a condiment, not a main course.
  3. Eat cheese with a meal that has plenty of soluble fiber.

Realize – that diary foods do not need to be in our adult human diet at all. My paleo side knows this well, dairy is sort of the new kid on the block in our human diet. But diary has been in our collective western diet for many thousands of years. And given the ability to turn on and off lactose tolerance within one generation – we have evolved to ingest dairy products, but some better than others. One aspect of cheese and dairy tolerance is simply whether your body needs to the “build a bigger body” message – your insulin blood test result is the first step to understanding whether cheese should be more limited in your diet.