Cheese has long been a part of the human diet, even before Luis Pasteur invented the process of sterilizing milk in the 19th century. Of course since then, cheese has been regularly made from pasteurized milk. Some cheese makers still adhere to the traditional method though. Their products are referred to as raw cheese.
Those who argue for the benefits of raw cheese say that while harmful microorganisms are removed when you pasteurize milk, beneficial ones are lost too. These friendly or useful bacteria are considered probiotic and can aid digestion. They also add a range of flavors and texture to the cheese. As for safety, they say that the cheese making process itself, as long as it is done under sanitary conditions, can reduce the risk of microbial contamination.
Read on and learn more about the pros and cons of raw cheese from grass fed cows and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends only moderate consumption of this protein source.
Raw Cheese Benefits:
Whether raw or pasteurized, cheese is essentially solidified milk with concentrated nutrients. About 30 grams of the Cheddar type can provide 7 grams of protein and 200 milligrams of calcium. It would take around 150 to 200 grams of milk to provide comparable amounts of protein and calcium.
Beneficial fatty acids are another set of nutrients that can be had from cheese. The amounts of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fatty acids are known to be more abundant in grass fed cows than conventional grain fed ones. This translates into the meat, the milk and the raw cheese made from such milk. One of the more popular investigations on CLA is how it can help reduce body fat. Meanwhile for omega-3, there is about 100 milligrams available in every ounce of raw cheese. Remember that the body doesn’t make this particular type of fatty acid and can only be derived from dietary sources.
As mentioned earlier, the benefit of using unpasteurized milk makes the cheese more probiotic. There are microorganisms in the fresh whole milk itself that’s actually involved in turning it into cheese. These microbes consume and break down the complex sugars, especially lactose, and the proteins in milk. It is this action, along with other cheesemaking procedures, that gives a type of cheese its particular flavor and texture. This reduction is basically what intestinal flora does to the food you eat. So you can say that well ripened raw cheese is pre-digested, and its nutrients are already in easily absorbable form.
Raw Cheese Risks:
There is naturally far less lactose in cheese than in milk because of the curdling and aging processes that it undergoes. There are varying degrees of lactose intolerance. Raw cheese may be fine for some. But for others, the slightest amount of lactose can set off a reaction.
Another class of substance found in cheeses that some people with allergies need to be cautious about are “amines”. This is what amino acids are turned into inside the body. For example, the amino acid histidine is converted into histamine. The microorganisms in milk that transform it into cheese can also enact this process.
Medical professionals frequently warn about the amount of saturated fats in dairy products such as cheese. Typically, 43% of its composition of nutrients is saturated fats. A one-ounce serving is still below the recommended daily limit for saturated fat intake, which is 7% of total calories. Raw cheese is safe enough as long as consumption is moderate.
Raw Cheese Practical Uses:
There are generally two broad classes of cheese, fresh and ripened. The former refers to those that have undergone the curdling process and have been aged for only 2 months or less, while the latter requires further aging and fermentation. Either type can be raw cheese as long as the milk used is unpasteurized.
Fresh cheeses are apparently the easier type to produce. Cheesemaking enthusiasts choose to make their own ricotta or queso fresco at home. It just takes a big enough stock pot, some cheese cloth, and of course rennet (plant or animal based). A cheese press can certainly produce better results. Take note though that this specialized appliance can be quite costly.
Whether you plan to make your own raw cheese or purchase it in a specialty store, the most basic consideration is the milk and its source. You don’t just have to make sure the cows are really grass fed. Organic farming standards are also meticulous about sanitary conditions, from milking to storage.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of organic cottage cheese and how to moderately use it in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the protein sources on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• Organic Yogurt (Full-Fat)
• Soaked or sprouted beans and legumes
• Raw seeds and nuts
• Roasted Seeds and Nuts
• Regular or Canned Beans and Legumes
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of raw cheese from grass fed cows, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of raw cheese from grass fed cows.