WARNING: You Could Be Addicted To Cheese
Question: Ever noticed how you get this “warm-fuzzy” feeling after indulging in a cheese-flavored food?
And why does it always feel like that last slice of cheese pizza is literally calling your name?
For quite a few people, cheese is an incredibly alluring food – and some might even joke it’s their guilty pleasure and “addiction.”
But what is it about cheese that’s so alluring?
A 2015 study, published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, examines why certain foods are more addictive than others. Researchers identified addictive foods from about 500 people who completed the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure if someone has a food addiction.
The study found certain foods are addictive because of the way they are processed. The more processed and fatty the food, the more it was associated with addictive eating behaviors.
Cheese happens to be especially addictive because of an ingredient called casein, a protein found in all milk products. During digestion, casein releases opiates called casomorphins.
The distinguishing characteristic of casomorphins is that they have an opioid effect. Yup. Opioids are among the world’s oldest known drugs. Dependence can develop with ongoing administration, leading to withdrawal syndromes with abrupt discontinuation. Opioids are well known for their ability to produce a feeling of euphoria, motivating some to recreationally use opioids.
It takes 10lbs of milk to make 1 lb of cheese. As milk is turned into cheese, most of its water is removed leaving behind concentrated casein and fat. So, concentrated dairy products, like cheese, have especially high levels of opiates, even morphine.
The casomorphins only explain why we like cheese so much and why it is so hard to give it up. It’s the sugar (lactose), animal protein and the saturated fat content (which triggers IGF-1 in the body, and is the reason it is now being strongly linked to several cancers) that make it so bad for you.
So what can you do if you’re addicted?
Well, first it’s not just about stopping cold turkey. If you can do that, more power to you. But here’s a real 3-step solution from people who have tried it.
I. Substitute regular cow’s milk with coconut or almond milk.