“Behold the power of cheese” Remember that? It was one of America’s great advertising slogans rehabilitating the reputations of one of the fatty foods in the American diet back in the days before scientists started realizing that natural fats just aren’t all that bad…just like traditional gastronomy said.
This week word comes from the University of Michigan on WHY cheese is so powerful. Turns out the caseins in dairy products are addictive, and the more processed the food the more addictive it is.
WHOA! Wait…processed cheese. As in what are we talking here? Brie? Camembert? Cheddar? American? Velveeta? Well, the information doesn’t exactly say. All it says is that the milk protein known as casein breaks down in the gut releasing opiates into the human system and making cheese – an extreme source of casein due to the concentrated level of protein – more or less a drug.
Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said that casein “breaks apart during digestion to release a whole host of opiates called casomorphins.”
The opiates then flood the brain with feelings of reward and addiction.
“Casomorphins really play with the dopamine receptors and trigger that addictive element,” said registered dietitian Cameron Wells, reported the Los Angeles Times.
Raise your hand if you can live with that. Me too.