Cheese Triggers Your Brain Like Hard Drugs
By Kirsten Cowart
Recently researchers made a bit of an alarming discovery.
They found that cheese contains a chemical that is often found in addictive drugs.
The University of Michigan analyzed how our brains react to this chemical and found that our brains will crave cheese much like a drug addict will crave heavy drugs.
When using the Yale Food Addiction scale – which is often used to measure cravings – this study found that cheese is high on the scale because of the chemical it contains known as casein.
Casein, which is found in pretty much all dairy products, is able to trigger the opioid sensors in your brain that produce a euphoric feeling similar to what happens when you have a drug addiction.
In the study, 500 students were asked to complete a survey about foods they had cravings for. The results showed that pizza was the top item on that list and was the most addictive food, according to the research.
The other top foods on the addiction scale nearly all contained cheese. Scientists that have been studying dairy products found that casein is in milk in tiny doses. When you use milk to produce a pound of cheese, however, you need around 10 pounds of milk. The highly addictive casein will coagulate in the solid milk fats used to make cheese, especially when it is separated from the liquids in milk.
This process greatly increases the concentration of casein within the cheese, which means when you eat cheese, you get a higher ‘hit’ of the addictive chemical whether it is pizza or just a cheese sandwich.
Erica Schulte, who was an author on the study, said:
“If properties of some foods are associated with addictive eating for some people, this may impact nutrition guidelines, as well as public policy initiatives such as marketing these foods to children.”
Co-author Nicole Avena said:
“This is a first step towards identifying specific foods and properties of foods, which can trigger this addictive response.
“This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment. It may not be a simple matter of ‘cutting back’ on certain foods, but rather, adopting methods used to curtail smoking, drinking and drug use.”
The staggering news about this is that the average person in the U.S. is estimated to eat around 35 pounds of cheese each year. This is probably because of its highly addictive nature.
One of the most important things we can do to make sure we aren’t addicted to this product is to make sure we are reducing and maybe even replacing regular cheese with a vegan option.
Do you think this news will slow down our cheese consumption? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Kirsten Cowart is a writer and researcher that has worked in the spiritual, mental health and medical fields.Kirsten enjoys studying and experiencing the benefits of yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbalism, organic gardening and alternative health.She worked hard in 2014 losing over 40 lbs. and has since maintained a healthy lifestyle.Follow her to learn more about her journey on Twitter, Facebook & Youtube!
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