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Science Says Cheese Addiction Is Real, It’s Basically Like Cocaine

Say cheese all the time? There’s science behind your addiction!

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Health News
3 min read
Science Says Cheese Addiction Is Real, It’s Basically Like Cocaine

Cheese is a delicious invention. For years I’ve been telling my family, friends, co-workers, basically anyone who pays heed that I’m addicted to cheese! I’m always hovering over the cheese platter in buffets, going for the seconds and thirds. And now science validates why people like me just can’t tear away from cheese.

Also Watch - Cheese Is As Addictive As Hard Drugs! You Gouda Be Kiddin’ Me!

It’s addictive. Cheese addiction is a real thing.

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Is Cheese Really Like Crack?

(Photo: Tumblr/rebloggy)
(Photo: Tumblr/rebloggy)

The weakness of most people who want to go vegan but cannot is more often than not, cheese. To find out why, researchers from the University of Michigan studied 500 volunteers to get a better understanding why certain foods are more addictive than others.

The answer lies in casomorphins or caseins, chemicals in milk protein that have an opioid-like effect. Opioids are the oldest drugs known to man. Caseins bind themselves to the dopamine receptors in the brain hitting the same areas as hard drugs. When people consume cheese dense foods regularly, it leads to compulsive eating habits like addiction.

Roughly it takes around 4.5 kilos of milk to make 100 grams of cheese. When milk is made into cheese, most of its water, called ‘whey’ is removed leaving behind a very concentrated mass of casein and fat. So in comparison to milk, cheese has very high amounts of opiates. (remember opiates reside in casein?)

Doing drugs and eating too much cheesy foods overburden the pleasure centers in the brain. So each time you feed your brain with a pizza, it craves more of the same cheesy stuff to feel ‘normal’ again.

Everyone who overeats knows that at a subconscious level that there’s more to curb it than just willpower. Once your brain has been activated to unnecessarily overeat, it is very difficult to un-train it to be satisfied with smaller portions.

The fact that cheesy foods provoke this kind of a response in the brain isn’t entirely new. It has been known that the more processed and fatty the food, the higher the chances are of addiction. Clearly why no one ever gets celery cravings!

Going Beyond the Study - The Real Science Is Far More Complex

Casein is found in all dairy products, but the cheese-making process concentrates it (Photo: iStock altered by The Quint)
Casein is found in all dairy products, but the cheese-making process concentrates it (Photo: iStock altered by The Quint)

Too soon to be planning addicts anonymous meetings for your feta addiction. Though this study found the crave-ability of pizzas is solely because of the high cheese content, the fact is that nutritionally, cheese does not have a very high glycemic load - so if it is not high in carbs or fat, and not easily absorbed by the body, it cannot be the villain it is made out to be.

The makeup of cheese is undeniable to our brains but the real problem is more with the high-fat, highly processed foods instead of plain cheese.

So the decision to call cheese crack is totally yours. If science makes you feel validated about munching a pizza for lunch, so be it. But do tell us which is your favourite cheese, your favourite ways to eat cheese or if you don’t like cheese at all – that’s okay, there are all sorts of strange people on earth.

Also Read: The Science Of Why You Have Food Cravings

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