If you’re a little bit addicted to cheese (and by little, we mean a WHOLE LOT, natch) then we’ve got the news that you’ve been waiting your whole life to hear.
Science has come swooping on in, and explained the reason why we’re totally in love with a slice (or three) of cheddar. Because, it turns out, we can’t help it.
Yay for us.
According to Doctor Neal Bernard, founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, there is an ingredient in cheese that has an effect on the body that can be likened to that of morphine.
Apparently, a certain component of cheese – a dairy protein called casein, in case you were wondering – is read by our brains as an addictive substance.
Your body doesn’t break it down completely, so when your digestive system tries to take on its role, the casein doesn’t seperate entirely, giving smaller strings of amino acids called casomorphins.
Dr. Barnard says, ‘These protein fragments can attach to the opiate receptors in your brain. As the name implies, casomorphins are casein-derived morphine-like compounds.’
Obviously, cheese isn’t anywhere near as damaging, but it’s definitely interesting to see how the science works.
The report, published on Thrillest, also goes on to state that our brain has evolved to love fats – and as cheese has a high fat and salt content, the combination is undeniable.
So whether you’ve got a penchant for cheese on toast, or a craving for a gorgeously gooey baked brie (complete with garlic and a crusty loaf – excuse us while we drool), you can feel content in the knowledge that there’s a very natural reason behind it.
And, hey, we’re not judging anyway.
By Laura Jane Turner