Side Effects of Cheese

Cheese is a fermented food made from milk, usually garnered from cows, goats or sheeps. Some cheese varieties have molds that add a characteristic flavor. Cheese is an excellent source of calcium, which is important for bone and teeth health, and protein, for muscle maintenance and building. However, consumption of cheese also can cause a number of problems in a few people.

Lactose Intolerance

Some people are lactose intolerant, meaning that they cannot digest the lactose found in milk and milk products. As a result, consumption of lactose causes abdominal bloating, cramps, diarrhea, gas and nausea, typically 30 minutes to 2 hours after consuming the dairy product. There are varying levels of lactose intolerance. For those who can tolerate some lactose, they usually can consume cheese because the fermentation process reduces the lactose content greatly. According to the “Manual of Dietetic Practice,” hard, aged cheeses contain the least amount of lactose. However, soft, fresh cheese still contains significant amounts of lactose and is likely to cause problems in these persons.

Dairy Allergy

Cow protein allergy, or dairy allergy, is different from lactose intolerance. Persons allergic to cow protein cannot tolerate any quantities of this protein, so all types of cheese made from mammalian milk should be avoided. Some of the symptoms of dairy allergy listed in the “Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine” include eczema, rashes, hives, diarrhea, gas, constipation and asthma.

Amine Sensitivity

Some people are sensitive to amines, a class of substances found in some foods. Common foods containing amines are cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits and wine. Consumption of these by amine-sensitive individuals causes headaches, rashes and blood pressure elevations. Fresh cheeses, such as mozzarella, cottage and ricotta, may not cause problems as their amine levels are very low. On the other hand, aged cheeses are very high in amines.

Weight Gain and High Blood Pressure

Cheese, especially the hard varieties, tend to be high in calories and salt, and regular consumption can lead to weight gain and hypertension. You should limit your cheese intake if you want to control your weight or have a heart condition. Soft cheeses are lower in calories and salt than hard cheeses, which make them a healthier option.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.