Turns out there’s a (kinda) scientific explanation for your compulsion to scoff an entire wheel of cheese at any one time.
The gooey-drippy-mushy stuff our snack dreams has been outed as “dairy crack” by U.S. based Dr Neal Bernard, Founder & President of the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine, who reckons most types contain a “casein-derived, morphine-like compound” that attaches itself to opiate receptors in the brain, getting you hooked on its ~flava~.
According to the Dr Bernard, these “casein proteins” are naturally-occurring and super concentrated in the cheese making process, and the reason why we can’t quite stop after one bite of stringy, cheesy goodness.
Before screaming crack up and down the dairy aisle, though, we called up our mates at Dairy Australia, and spoke to Accredited Practising Dietitian, Blake Robinson, to set us straight:
“Well, I’ve certainly heard about cheese being addictive before – but there’s actually really little evidence to show that it’s those opiate-like natural compounds in the cheese give it addictive qualities.”
Blake goes on to explain that whatever “morphine-like compounds” may be in cheese would be digested before every making its way into our bloodstream, so our dairy addiction is more likely psychological than chemical. i.e. a blatant lack of self control.
“Any effects you might feel from eating cheese are more likely because it tastes and feels so good that you want to eat more, and not anything to do with a particular chemical in there. That may be why so many people feel like they can’t live without it. But I guess the good news is that unlike other addictive substances, cheese is really good for you and you don’t need to feel guilty about eating it.”
So there you have it.
Lead image via Robert Liu.