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Is Cheese Addiction A Thing?

Source: By Jan Cortes

Cheese is easily one of the most famous and recognized dairy products

in the world. And… well, you’d be hard pressed to not see why. For one thing, it’s incredibly tasty, scrumptious and easy to eat, as well as very accessible. It can also be enjoyed in several ways, with the number of food it’s been mixed into is countless at this point. The majority of us (at least those who are not lactose intolerant) enjoy it as well, so much that some like to think they have an addiction to it.

But is cheese addiction a real thing? Is there any scientific backing behind that claim?

Per studies, Americans ate around 6 pounds of cheese per person yearly during the mid-1970s. And in 2018, that number has increased ­to 11 pounds. And while there are many factors that are behind this growth, experts believe it’s partly because of a slowly-digested protein called the casein, found in other dairy products as well. As a protein, casein usually gets broken down by our bodies into smaller compounds, now called casomorphins. These would then cross our blood-brain barrier and attach to our brain’s dopamine receptors, causing them to release dopamine, or the hormone that gives us pleasure and feelings of being rewarded. So in short, cheese makes you feel good, which makes you crave for more of it. Additionally, its high fat content also makes it easy to crave because the release of endorphins after satisfying that craving is also pleasurable and rewarding, which repeats the cycle and makes you want to crave more. Thankfully, cheese doesn’t threaten your health at all, despite its mildly addictive properties. In fact, it’s also healthy. Of course, most cheese harbors lactose, and so those who are lactose intolerant should avoid it as much as possible. Bottom line is, the mildly addictive and pleasure-inducing properties of cheese are one of the biggest reasons as to why it’s the most popular and well-recognized dairy product aside from milk. Moreover, it sure seems like it won’t be slowing down anytime soon. So, enjoy!