Scientists from the University of Michigan found that pizza came out on top of the most addictive food list and that this cheese is as addictive as drugs.
The research was published in PLOS ONE and was conducted by Ashley N. Gearhardt et al.
In the study, the team examined why certain foods are more addictive than others.
They tested more than 500 college students and identified addictive foods with the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure if someone has a food addiction.
The team found certain foods are addictive because of the way they are processed. The more processed and fatty the food, the more it was linked to addictive eating behaviors.
That is why pizza came out on top of the most addictive food list.
The team suggests besides being a basic food group for kids, college students, and adults, there’s a scientific reason we all love pizza, and it has to do with the cheese.
Cheese happens to be especially addictive because of an ingredient called casein. Casein is found in all dairy products, but the cheese-making process concentrates it
During digestion, casein releases opiates called casomorphins. The team says casomorphins play with the dopamine receptors and trigger that addictive element.
The team says their study provides evidence that not all foods are equally implicated in addictive-like eating behavior.
Highly processed foods, which may share characteristics with drugs of abuse (e.g. high dose, rapid rate of absorption) appear to be particularly linked to “food addiction.”
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