I can be the first to admit I’ve said ‘I’m addicted to cheese’ countless times. Whenever it’s appropriate, I add a little fromage to anything I eat, which unequivocally makes anything better. My cheese ‘addiction’ was always a joke, but I might be in more trouble than I thought.
According to a new study from the University of Michigan, cheese crack is a real thing. And so is the addiction.
The study examined why certain foods are more addictive than others. Addictive foods were identified amongst 500 students who participated in the Yale Food Addiction Scale, which is designed to see if someone is addicted to a certain food.
Pizza came out on top as the most addictive food. It’s more a less a basic food group for kids and young adults; but the real, scientific answer is all about the cheese.
The study discovered foods are more addictive the more processed and fatty they are. Cheese, which has both of these qualities, is especially addictive because of an ingredient called casein, a protein found in all milk products. When digested, casein releases opiates called casomorphins.
“[Casomorphins] really play with the dopamine receptors and trigger that addictive element,” explained dietitian Cameron Wells in an interview with Mic.
Until lives become ruined by cheese, or Cheese Anonymous becomes a thing, a cheese addiction isn’t something you should seek help for – a piece of bread might be better.