There are a few things Italians can’t live without and one of them is cheese. We all know how addicting cheese can be. A new study by the University of Michigan has proved that cheese contains addictive chemicals found in drugs including cocaine. No wonder you can’t stop yourself from going to town on the Parmigiano Reggiano with prosciutto at every family event. This is probably also why you could eat an entire Chocolate Chip Ricotta Cheesecake given the opportunity.
In the research at the University of Michigan, 500 participants took place in a survey regarding their food cravings. These people completed the Yale Food Addiction Scale. Which is designed to measure whether or not someone has a food addiction.
Throughout the survey, most of the addicting foods happened to contain cheese. Dishes including pizza were found to be craved the most by participants. This is because pizza has high levels of casein which affects brain opioid receptors. Cheese contains casomorphins which can act like opioid pain killers. During the digestive process, casein releases casomorphins. The study suggested that the more processed a certain type of food is, the more addictive it is.
Nevertheless, if you’re Italian, no study is ever going to stop your love for formaggio. You may have even been eating some while reading this article, and that is nothing to worry too much about.