Who among us can resist a platter of high-quality cheese and crackers? Throw in some fig jam and cornichons and you’ve got yourself a perfect lunch. But according to one doctor, cheese is actually a pretty addictive substance. Dr. Neal Barnard, founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, explained to Thrillist that cheese has "morphine-like compounds" called casomorphins.
"In cheese, we get massive concentrations of fat and salt, which our highly evolved brains continue to love. Combine this with the opioid-like casomorphins, and cheese suddenly goes from 'very delicious' to 'obscenely tempting,’” Dr. Barnard tells Thrillist.
Here’s the science of the matter: Casein, the culprit protein doesn’t fully break down in our bodies, instead forming a chain of five to seven amino acids known as the casomorphins that attach themselves to our brain’s opiate receptors. Translation? It’s really hard for us to turn down cheese because it can be as addictive as drugs.
The reason why you don’t see cheese junkies walking around the streets with bloodshot eyes looking for their next fix of feta is because unlike cocaine or morphine, cheese is actually a nutritious substance made from fat, which is something our body innately craves.