Can’t get enough of cheese?

Do you find yourself sprinkling cheese on everything from salads to eggs? Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about the nutty, slightly sweet taste of gouda or the buttery, creamy goodness of brie? Cheese is one of the most delicious foods on earth, but its delectable flavors aren’t the only reason why so many people are certified cheese-aholics. Today, the average American eats about 35 pounds of cheese every year. For reference, in the 1970s, the average American ate about eight pounds of cheese per year. Yep, cheese is downright addicting, and it turns out, that addiction is very real and there’s actually a scientific reason for it.

What makes cheese so addictive?

Studies have shown that cheese is just as addictive as some drugs; earning cheese the nickname, “dairy crack,” among some scientists. So if you are a full-on cheese addict, you can stop blaming your willpower. But if an inability to say no to the one-of-a-kind goodness that is cheese isn’t to blame, then what is? Essentially, there are two main reasons why we are so addicted to cheese: casein and fat.

Why we love fat.

Evolution has fine-tuned our appetites for high-calorie foods, particularly fats. Long ago, when the next meal wasn’t always a certainty, the survival of the human race depended on getting the most calories out of the fewest bites, as well as storing fat for the times when food was scarce. That’s why foods high in sugar, carbohydrates and, especially, fat are so difficult to say no to.

It’s no secret that cheese is high in fat. Gram for gram, cheese has more fat than even full-fat ice cream, but don’t let the fat scare you away from indulging in cheese every once in awhile. Studies have shown that people who don’t eat dairy are prone to the same problems as those who overindulge in dairy. Another study found that people who eat eight servings of full-fat dairy, like cheese, per day had a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

cta-1

What is casein?

Have you ever noticed how eating cheese just makes you feel good? Casein is a chemical that can be found in dairy, and it triggers dopamine in the brain, just like drugs do. When you eat cheese, it activates the reward center in your brain, making you feel good.

Compared with other dairy products, casein is relatively high in cheese. In milk, levels of casein are fairly minimal. However, it takes 10 pounds of milk in order to make a single pound of cheese, which means that the chemical can be found in high amounts in cheese.

When some people find out that their cheese addiction is actually a chemical reaction, it might cause them to be disillusioned by one of their favorite foods. However, keep in mind that low levels of dopamine are associated with fatigue, a lack of motivation and mood swings, so a cheese-induced dopamine increase can actually be a good thing.

Get your cheese fix with the Big Cheezy.

Not only is cheese delicious and addictive, it can also be beneficial to your health when you eat it in moderation. So, the next time you find yourself with a craving for cheese, give in with The Big Cheezy. We offer the best grilled cheese sandwiches in all of Louisiana, and whether you have a craving for a traditional grilled cheese sandwich or a unique twist with our large variety of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your hankering with The Big Cheezy. Stop by one of our locations in Kenner, Mid-City or Uptown, or let us bring the cheesy goodness to you with our grilled cheese delivery today!