Recent Studies Show That Some Foods Are As Addictive As Drugs
Marilyn Caylor 5/9/2016
Food addictions are a real struggle for many folks. Sugary treats or fast food are the normal culprits. But, recent studies are showing us a new food that's just as addictive as the usual suspects.
Food Addicts Anonymous
We know that food addictions are real. But, did you know those cravings for cookies, hamburgers, and other comfort foods have a basis in science? Just like drugs and alcohol have an affect on the brain, the chemical substances in food also have a physiological affect on our emotions and mood.
Pathway To Euphoria
Our brains come hardwired with a pathway to happiness! Scientists refer to it as the "opioid system" and not only does it control pain, but it also has a profound impact on our addictive behaviors. In other words, our brains are more than willing to grab and use chemicals that make us feel euphoric. The brain doesn't discern if the chemical came form a drug or a food. Once it gets a taste for that chemical, all the brain cares about is getting more of it.
More Cheese, Please!
Researchers from the University of Michigan have recently discovered that cheese contains a chemical that is just as addictive as drugs. Casein is a protein found in dairy products, however it is highly concentrated, compared to just drinking milk, due to the cheese making process. In the stomach, casein is converted into casomorphin, an opioid compound. The very same opioids that the brain loves to get from drugs like morphine can now be found in a slice of cheese.
The Yale Scale
The Yale Food Addiction Scale is the gold standard in determining how addictive a food is. Of the 500 students that filled out a questionnaire on food cravings for the study, it was discovered the cheese was a major ingredient in many of the addictive foods. The most popular food craving among college students was not surprising - pizza!
It's Still Safe To Eat
Unless you have a dairy allergy, there's no reason to try to wean yourself off an "addiction" to cheese. Unlike drugs, consuming cheese doesn't have a negative impact on the lives of others. A little extra helping of cheese doesn't seem to hurt healthy individuals who exercise regularly.
No Really, Can I Have More Cheese?
Despite the fact that cheese appears to be addictive, it won't stop many people from reaching for another slice. As far as we know, no crimes have been committed while under the influence of cheese. But, if you feel like you're addicted to it, at least you now know why.