Everyone loves cheese - especially as a snack. If you don’t, then chances are that many people around you do. Go ahead, take a poll around your office. We’ll wait.
Now, this is hardly news. But researchers have gained a clearer understanding of why people get so hooked on cheese. It’s because, in fact, cheese can have a drug-like effect on the snacker.
It has to do with a protein called casein, which is often found in milk. In fact, some 80 percent of the proteins in cow milk are casein. When milk becomes cheese, casein coagulates milk fats and separates them from the liquid milk, thus giving you an even bigger, more concentrated hit of the protein.
As a study by the University of Michigan found, casein can trigger opioid receptors in the human brain, yielding a version of that euphoric rush that occurs when people take drugs. Unsurprisingly, as the researchers discovered using the Yale Food Addiction Scale and the data from 500 students, the most addictive foods were those containing cheese. Pizza was the most addictive of all.
So don’t feel bad if you’re making multiple trips to the cheese tray - you’re basically taking the cocaine of dairy. Plus, it has a few benefits of its own…