Cheese contains a chemical found in addictive drugs, scientists have found.
The team behind the study set out to pin-point why certain foods are more addictive than others.
Using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure a person’s dependence on, scientists found that cheese is particularly potent because it contains casein.
The substance, which is present in all dairy products, can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors which are linked to addiction.
The authors also found that processed foods were more associated with addictive behavior, with fatty foods being the most difficult to put down.
In addition, they found that the top-ranking foods on the addiction scale were those containing cheese.
To make their findings, researchers asked 120 undergraduates to answer the Yale Food Addiction Scale, and were asked to choose between 35 foods of varying nutritional value, TechTimes reported.
A second part of the study involved 384 people who were presented with the same items of food but in a hierarchical linear order.
Researchers behind the study published in the Public Library of Science One journal found that fat was linked to problematic eating whether or not participants were addicted to food.
Erica Schulte, one of the study's authors, told Mic: “Fat seemed to be equally predictive of problematic eating for everyone, regardless of whether they experience symptoms of 'food addiction.”
”[Casomorphins] really play with the dopamine receptors and trigger that addictive element,“ Cameron Wells, a registered dietician, told Tech Times.