NYU student went to rehab for cheese addiction


It’s Gouda, the bad and the ugly.

A Manhattan law student was so addicted to cheese that she had to go to rehab to curb her insatiable appetite for dairy, she told the Post.

Adela Cojab said her Camembert cravings began during her freshman year at New York University in the spring of 2018, when she subsisted almost daily on the “cheapest” white cheddar and parmesan bricks she had available. ‘she could find.

Cojab said she gorges on bricks of white cheddar and parmesan. Helayne Seidman

“I would stop at either Morton Williams or Whole Foods and just buy cheese, and I would literally eat a block of cheese with my hands,” said Cojab, 27, often sitting alone on the floor of her Midtown apartment. the darkness.

“It was the only thing that made me feel a little whole.”

The feta enthusiast said she devours around 5.5 blocks of cheese a week, along with tasty parmesan crisps which she stocks in her pantry.

Her pitiful salad attempts, she said, were like “eating Parmesan with Caesar, with lettuce on the side.”

“I kept telling myself it was actually cheaper to just buy a few blocks of cheese” than to buy a $12 salad at Fresh & Co.,” Cojab said.

“I told myself I was making an economic decision, as drug addicts rationalize.”

Cojab consumed around 5.5 bricks of cheese per week during his addiction. Helayne Seidman

Dr. Neal Barnard, author of “Cheese Trap” and assistant professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine, explained that people like Cojab become addicted to cheese because of the high concentration of fat and salt in foods, as well as a protein known as casein that can “make people mildly addicted.”

“Cheese contains opiate chemicals that attach to the same brain receptors as fentanyl or any other narcotic,” he said, adding that because of the high concentration of casein in cheese, “some people call it “dairy crack” cheese.”

Cojab said his addiction stemmed from stress.

She was president of a Zionist student group called Realizing Israel, at odds with other student activists and professors calling for the university to sever ties with Israel.

Cojab’s weight soared to 172 pounds during his cheese addiction Courtesy of Adela Cojab
Cojab’s addiction caused her to stop menstruating and put her at risk of diabetes. Courtesy of Adela Cojab

The dairy diet quickly destroyed Cojab’s health.

His weight skyrocketed to 172 pounds.

She also stopped her periods for five months during her cheese feasts and became vulnerable to type 2 diabetes.

“My mom told me, ‘You’re not okay, you’re not okay. . . . you have to go away for a while,” she said of the family intervention that saved her.

Cojab learned at a wellness retreat in South Carolina how to count calories and what healthy snacks she could eat instead of cheese. Helayne Seidman

Attending a two-week wellness retreat at Hilton Head Health in South Carolina, which costs a minimum of $5,820 per week, helped the asiago addict take control of her eating disorder.

Instructors and counselors taught her the basics of ordering and preparing healthy meals, counting calories and considering healthier snacks, like blueberries or popcorn instead of havarti.

Her weight has since dropped to 123 pounds, helped in part by Ozempic prescribed to address her risk of diabetes, she said.

Cojab lost more than 40 pounds after rehab, helped in part by Ozempic prescribed for his diabetes risk. Courtesy of Adela Cojab

Still, Cojab, who settled an anti-Semitism lawsuit she filed against NYU in 2019 and is set to graduate from the Cardozo School of Law in June, hasn’t given up cheese entirely.

These days, she said she chooses a “lighter” mozzarella over a Vermont cheddar or parmesan first.

And during a visit to the Ideal Cheese Shop in Midtown East, she smiled as she munched on samples of Prairie Breeze gruyere and cheddar with crackers.

“I’m interested in it, but not like I used to be,” she said, adding that recent waves of anti-Israel encampments at Columbia and other universities have caused brief relapses.

“When I’m really stressed, I’ll grab a block of cheese, but that doesn’t happen that often.”

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