New research from the University of Michigan confirms cheese has the same effect on the brain as heroin.
Researchers conducted two separate studies involving approximately 500 people, and the results showed pizza topped the list of addictive foods (beating out chocolate, chips, and cookies). Pizza is decorated in fattening cheese. The study's authors believe the higher the fat content in the food, the more addictive it is.
Dr. Neil Barnard, who runs the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, shared some insight as to why cheese is so addictive: it contains the protein casein, which creates casomorphins when the body breaks the dairy down.
"Casomorphins attach to the brain's opiate receptors to cause a calming effect in much the same way heroin and morphine do," Dr. Barnard explains. "In fact, since cheese is processed to express out all the liquid, it's an incredibly concentrated source of casomorphins, you might call it dairy crack."
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