Nutrition for Women

Your Brain on Cheese

According to research, your cheese addiction is not your fault.

According to recent statistics, the average American downs 11 pounds of cheese in a year. That’s a lotta cheddar. But this urge to glut might not (totally) be your fault.

Woman eating cheese and crackers

Cheese contains casein, which has been shown to induce the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter related to feelings of pleasure, and according to research published in PLOS One, higher-fat foods have been linked to pleasure receptors in your brain. 

The upshot is that cheese is a great source of protein and calcium, and some early research even suggests that casein could have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. However, the lactose and high-fat and salt content in cheese can make it problematic for those who are sensitive to dairy or have high blood pressure, so limit accordingly.