Did you ever wonder why some foods seem more addictive than others? Some of you wouldn’t think twice about giving up, but it seems that your life is incomplete without others!
A group of scientists conducted a study to identify the factors causing people to develop addictions to certain types of foods. Would you believe that a food considered to be as nutritious as cheese can actually trigger addiction? What is it with cheese then?
Findings of the said study revealed that cheese contains a certain chemical that is also found in some addictive drugs. The scientists used a Yale Food Addiction Scale – a questionnaire designed to measure an individual’s dependence on certain substances and to evaluate the signs of one’s addictive eating behaviours.
They found out that cheese contains a potent substance called casein which makes it highly addictive. Surprisingly, the same substance is also found in all dairy products. The group revealed that casein can trigger the opioid receptors of the brain which are associated with addiction.
Perhaps you’re also wondering why some people cannot put down fatty foods. That’s exactly what happens when people eat cheese! Additionally, the researchers discovered that processed foods are also linked to certain addictive behaviours…and foods that topped the addiction scale all contained cheese!
The sample of the study included 120 undergraduates who were asked to select between 35 foods with different nutritional values and were required to answer the Yale Food Addiction Scale.
The second part to the study involved 384 people who were presented with the same items of food, but in a hierarchical linear order.
A journal published by the Public Library of Science showed that problematic eating behaviours are linked to fat intake, regardless of whether the person is addicted to the food or not. One of the study’s researchers, Erica Schulte, claimed that fat seems to trigger certain addictive behaviours when consumed, even if there was no outward evidence of food addiction.
A registered dietician named Cameron Wells also claimed that casomorphin, an opioid peptide derived from the digestion of casein, works well with dopamine receptors and it triggers the occurrence of addictive behaviours.
All of this goes a long way in explaining just why so many people find cheese so difficult to give up. Cheese and cheese flavoured products are everywhere, and eliminating them from the diet can be a great challenge for people who are trying to lose weight or watch what they are eating.
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