Here is a little something that has been doing its rounds for a week now! A little-known fact about cheese.
Scientists from the University of Michigan have found that this yellow food contains a chemical that’s also found in highly-addictive hard drugs.
Using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, the researchers measured a person’s dependence on different foods. They asked 120 students to answer the addiction scale, and choose between 35 foods, and then conducted a second test on a further 384 subjects.
Here are their findings:
The foods that ranked top of the scale contained cheese. Cheese contains casein, present in all dairy products, and which can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors, which are linked to addiction.
The study states, “The current study provides preliminary evidence that not all foods are equally implicated in addictive-like eating behaviour, and highly processed foods, which may share characteristics with drugs of abuse (e.g. high dose, rapid rate of absorption) appear to be particularly associated with ‘food addiction’.”
So, this almost explains why we keep going back to a slice of that delicious pizza again and again! However, the scientists who did the research believe that the addiction has more to do with the processed food with high levels of sugars and fat, and it’s these ingredients that leave us coming back for another slice. In reality, it has little to do with the cheese!
“I was horrified by the misstatements and the oversimplifications and the statements about how it’s an excuse to overeat,” says Ashley Gearhardt of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who led the study. “Liking is not the same as addiction. We like lots of things. I like hip-hop music and sunshine and my wiener dog, but I’m not addicted to her. I eat cheese every day. That’s doesn’t mean you’re addicted or it has addictive potential.”
According to Joseph Frascella, a neuroscientist at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Md, the study simply makes people aware of their eating habits