Cheese contains a chemical found in addictive drugs, scientists have found.
The team behind the study set out to pin-point why certain foods are more addictive than others.
Using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure a person’s dependence on, scientists found that cheese is particularly potent because it contains casein.
The substance, which is present in all dairy products, can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors which are linked to addiction.
The authors also found that processed foods were more associated with addictive behaviour, with fatty foods being the most difficult to put down.
In addition, they found that the top-ranking foods on the addiction scale were those containing cheese.
To make their findings, researchers asked 120 undergraduates to answer the Yale Food Addiction Scale, and were asked to choose between 35 foods of varying nutritional value, TechTimes reported.
10 best English cheeses
10 best English cheeses
(1) Mature Wookey Hole Cave Aged Farmhouse Cheddar
This crumbly, earthy Dorset cheddar has just been crowned Supreme Champion at the international cheese awards. The humidity and year-round temperatures of Wookey Hole Caves are said to hold the secret of its success.
£2 for 200g, sainsburys.co.uk
The Fine Cheese Company in Bath is a treasure trove of scrumptious English varieties. Our favourite is Rachel, a modern, wash-rind goats' milk cheese, made in Somerset by Pete Humphries and romantically named after an old flame.
£24.18 per kg, finecheese.co.uk
Kirkham's Lancashire is a traditional farmhouse cheese. Its tasty quality is said to be due to the sea salt that blows around the pastures near the Irish Sea where the Kirkham's herd of Friesians graze.
£19.50 per kg, paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk
(4) Real Yorkshire Wensleydale with Cranberries
Blended cheeses aren't to everyone's taste, but this is a surprisingly colourful, delicate and fruity number.
£1.99 for 180g, wensleydale.co.uk
If you're a fan of stilton, don't miss Colston Bassett's version. The texture is pure velvet and the flavour ranges from mild with a sharp edge when young, to rich and tangy when mature.
£18 per kg, teddingtoncheese.co.uk
(6) Somerset Camembert
Somerset Camembert is rich and creamy, with a soft, edible rind. As the cheese matures the curd softens, getting a buttery colour and rich flavour.
£2.09 for 220g, waitrose.com
(7) Stinking Bishop
Stinking Bishop smells of old socks, but it tastes divine. The rind is washed in perry, made from the Stinking Bishop pear, inside which is a soft, creamy, full-flavoured cheese.
£25.10 per kg, finecheese.co.uk
(8) Blacksticks Blue
This unique version of the British blue was created in 2003. Originally developed for the restaurant business, it was soon snapped up by Marks & Spencer, where it remains a bestseller.
£1.99 for 150g, marksandspencer.com
(9) Cornish Yarg
Yarg is made by hand, then brined before nettle or wild garlic leaves are wrapped round to help the cheese mature and develop its characteristic creamy, yet crumbly texture and subtle flavour.
£16.95 for a 900g truckle, lynherdairies.co.uk
(10) Mature Cheshire
The Bourne family has been making outstanding cheeses for more than 250 years. Using milk from their own Friesian cows, they still use traditional techniques ? the results are stunningly good.
£8.84 per kg, madebyhandsofbritain.com
A second part to the study involved 384 people who were presented with the same items of food, but in a hierarchical linear order.
Researchers behind the study published in the Public Library of Science One journal found that fat was linked to problematic eating whether or not participants were addicted to food.
Erica Schulte, one of the study's authors, told Mic: “Fat seemed to be equally predictive of problematic eating for everyone, regardless of whether they experience symptoms of 'food addiction.”
”[Casomorphins] really play with the dopamine receptors and trigger that addictive element,“ Cameron Wells, a registered dietician, told Tech Times.