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

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 March 24, 2021

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

1. Smart Door Locks

A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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2. Smart Kitchen Tools

Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

5. Nest Thermostat

This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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6. Smart Lighting

Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

7. Google Chromecast Ultra

Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

8. Canary

This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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