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Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D. On Breaking The Dairy Addiction

By June 18, 2017January 25th, 2024No Comments

“Some foods are fattening. Others are addictive. Cheese is both…Loaded with calories, high in sodium, packing more cholesterol than steak, and sprinkled with hormones — if cheese were any worse, it would be Vaseline.”

 Neal Barnard, M.D.     

Last week we discussed the how behind ditching dairy. This week we discuss the why.

Right now the average American eats more than 33 pounds of cheese a year. Packed with calories, loaded with saturated fat and teeming in highly addictive casomorphins, it’s a habit that’s intimately linked to obesity and a litany of chronic illnesses, including heart disease and type-2 diabetes. It’s a habit that wrecks significant havoc on the environment, polluting our skies and poisoning our water table. And it’s a habit that perpetuates unspeakable cruelty on the sentient animals it relies upon to serve its unabating appetite.

Nonetheless, the U.S. continues to produce more cheese and dairy products than any other country in the world. Relentless, well-funded dairy industry lobbying efforts have entrenched government subsidies that not only incentivize production but even quietly fund corporate product development and marketing efforts, such as Pizza Hut’s infamous grilled cheese stuffed crust pizza, McDonald’s McCafé products and even Starbucks smoothies — all products specifically produced, developed and marketed to increase consumer dairy consumption courtesy of the federal funded and USDA regulated dairy checkoff program.

It’s time to stop the insanity.

So let’s talk about it. I can think of no better steward to facilitate a conversation on this subject than my good friend Neal Barnard, M.D.


A pre-eminent authority on diet and nutrition and its impact on illnesses such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s, Neal is the founder & president of The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), where he leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research, and the Barnard Medical Center, a ground-breaking non-profit primary care medical practice where board-certified physicians, nurse practitioners, and registered dietitians help patients prevent and reverse serious health problems, leveraging a holistic approach that involves tackling the actual causes of illness, with extra attention on nutrition.

Neal is also an adjunct associate professor of medicine at George Washington University and has authored over 70 scientific publications as well as 18 books, including the New York Times best-sellers Power Foods for the Brain*, 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart*, the USA Today best-seller Dr. Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes* and the subject of today’s conversation, The Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy*.

This is a great conversation about all of the aforementioned issues. It’s about how government policy, corporate interests, and regulatory oversight fuel unhealthy consumer food choices. It’s an education on the surprisingly addictive nature of cheese. And it’s a master class on the negative human and planetary health implications of our love affair with dairy and why you need to finally kick the habit.

One of my most eye-opening podcasts to date, I urge all of you to listen intently. Take notes if you have to. Listen (or re-listen) to our first conversation (RRP 242). Implement Dr. Barnard’s prodigious wisdom into your daily nutrition regimen. Then take notice as your health begins to flourish, your consciousness expands and your life changes for the better.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.

Peace + Plants,


P.S. – Please stick around to the very end of the  episode for a special treat. The show concludes with a musical performance of Louder Than Words by none other than Neal himself and his band Carbonworks – a song that is currently charting at #17 (between Train and Taylor Swift!) on the U.S. radio Top 40 list. Then check out their music video for the song.

Listen & Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Soundcloud | Stitcher

Thanks to this week’s sponsors:

Note: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support the sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url’s and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click “Sponsors”.


Get Neal’s latest book: The Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy*

Background, Context & Reference

Notable Books by Dr. Neal Barnard

Notable People Discussed

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy

Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering, show notes and interstitial music; Shawn Patterson for graphics. Theme music by Ana Leimma.

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.


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