Holistic Health and Nutrition

Why My Cover Photo (used to be) Cheese

Anyone who knew me before the age of 13 or so knew my diet was mainly bread (or some grain form) and cheese.  Healthy, right?  But I LOVED cheese.  Still do.  I couldn’t understand how these other kids had cheese (or dairy) intolerances.  Lactose? What?  Just give me the cheese.  While I still have a ton to learn, I’ve come to understand the differences between dairy products sourced by different animals, predominately cows, sheep, and goats.  Guess what?  Some intolerances are due to a protein called casein.  Casein is similar to whey, due to the fact that it’s derived from milk.  Whey MAY have some trace levels of casein retained, but to the best of my knowledge, casein is considered a “slow” protein whereas whey is a “fast acting” protein.  The slow versus fast is in reference to how quickly it fully metabolizes.  But I digress!

It does get a little sciencey, but there are four major types of casein (αs1, αs2, β, κ).  Because sheep and goat’s milk contain different ratios of the different types, those who have a casein intolerance may experience lessened side effects from a milk or cheese (or butter!) derived from non-cow but still animal milk.  Now, I use almond milk and coconut milk too, and I’ve even splurged on cashew milk on occasion, but those just don’t hold the same consistency or flavor.  While goat and sheep certainly differs from cow in taste as well, it’s definitely more similar than say, almond milk.

So back to the picture.  It’s from Central Market.  I LOVE that they provide cheese with a PICTURE of the animal it came from.  It’s like McDonalds when the cashier just gets to select the picture of which menu item you order so they don’t have to calculate cost!  (Sorry, McDonalds rant to come at a later date for several different reasons).  So, while I haven’t been tested and I’ve never had a significant symptom of dairy intolerance (cow dairy is generally what’s tested and diagnosed), I DID realize my acne and my migraines might be symptoms of a casein reaction.  I switched the majority of my dairy to non-cow at the same time I removed most gluten (and yes, I cheat on both on occasion and am lucky to not experience any horrible side effects), so it’s possible it’s just as much gluten (or totally gluten) as it is the casein.  However, I found the research really interesting, and wanted to share.  Below are a couple of links for those that are interested in more of the breakdown.

Go here for a high level breakdown as well as some specific nutrient and mineral comparisons.

For a quick comparison between digestive and inflammatory properties, you can go here.  As always, Google is readily available for those who choose to do their own research, so please feel free to research (and disagree) with any of the above.  I am just here to share what I learn!

In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying a bit of goat gouda.

Thanks, and Stay Shiny!