Have you ever started grazing on a cheese platter, only to suddenly realise you’ve eaten the whole thing including the crackers, when you thought you’d only cut yourself a few slices? Us too. It might make you feel a bit better to know cheese has a chemical found in addictive drugs, so it’s not your fault — cheese is in the wrong!
There have been a few studies that have looked at the addictive properties in cheese. The finger was pointed at cheese having a large concentration of casein, a protein that activates the brain’s opioid receptor — basically it makes you crave things more. Casein can actually be found in all dairy products, but it’s particularly high in cheese because of the way it’s made.
The results of these studies made people compare cheese to crack, because the Yale Food Addiction Scale revealed the most top-ranking addictive foods had cheese (like pizza). For a bit more context, scientists said cheese was the common factor but not the main cause of addiction — they argued it was processed foods with high levels of sugars and fat that are to blame for us not being able to stop at one.
Anyway, your cheese addiction isn’t dangerous unless it’s affecting your health, because as with all things: Moderation. And if you’re going to have some cheese, you might as well pour yourself a glass of wine, because science has also proven wine tastes better when paired with cheese.
This story was first published on ELLE.com.au.
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