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Science Says Cheese Is Addictive As Drugs, Here’s Why

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Science Says Cheese Is Addictive As Drugs, Here’s Why

Do you love cheese? Really really love it? Have you ever jokingly made reference to your ‘cheese addiction’? Well, it may not be such a joking matter after all – scientific research suggests that eating cheese really does just makes us want to eat even more.

If you’ve ever reached the end of a meal but miraculously discovered that you have some more room in your stomach when the cheese tray comes out, you may be a cheese addict.

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It turns out that, just as is the case with hard drugs like heroin and cocaine, some foods provide a consumer with an intense and almost-instant ‘hit’ or ‘high.’

Why Cheese Is Particularly Addictive

In the research, 500 people completed a survey that asked them what foods most often prompted them to overeat.

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The researchers found that the most highly addictive foods contain significant levels of fat and are typically highly processed with a high sodium content.This explains why pizza is such a popular food – it is a manufactured rather than natural product, it is rapidly digested thanks to the high-GI level of the dough. Also, it is high in salt, and usually comes heaped with lots of cheese.

Let’s take a closer look at the chemical composition of cheese. Dairy products contain the milk protein casein, which releases casomorphins when it is digested in the human gut. This prompts the release of the ‘feel-good’ chemical dopamine in the brain, which can cement a cheese addiction even further! A glass of milk contains relatively little casein in absolute terms, but it takes a lot of milk to produce even a small amount of cheese. Therefore, cheese is notably high in these addictive proteins, which act indirectly on the opioid receptors in the brain. These are the same receptors that are triggered when a drug addict consumes a hit of heroin.

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Should You Quit Eating Cheese Then?

Does this mean you should quit eating cheese? The authors of this study believe that the most addictive foods – including cheeseburgers, cookies and ice-cream and of course cheese – can trigger unintentional overeating. This may be a factor in explaining why obesity is an ongoing and expanding phenomenon in the US and other developed countries. So should you throw out the cheddar? Not necessarily. As long as you enjoy a balanced diet with fruit and vegetables as the key components, feel free to indulge in this relatively harmless vice once in a while. Enjoy it with some low-fat, low-GI foods in the same meal to slightly temper the ‘hit.’

Featured photo credit: Global Panorama via flickr.com

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Jay Hill

Jay writes about communication and happiness on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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