If you've ever joked around about being addicted to cheese, it's actually not a joke. Cheese can actually be addictive, and it's because of one particular ingredient.

The study was done by the University of Michigan, and it looks at why certain foods are more addictive than others. About 500 students completed a survey where they rated foods based on how addictive they are, and, not surprisingly, pizza came out on top. One of the big reasons pizza was number one, though, is because of the cheese.

Certain foods are more addictive than others because of they way they are processed. The foods that were more fatty and processed were related to more addictive eating behaviors. Cheese is especially addictive because it's loaded up with a special protein called casein. When you're eating, the casein releases opiates called casomorphins, which mess with your dopamine receptors. That's basically fancy science talk for "cheese is like a drug." The average person actually consumes 35 pounds of cheese every year! I probably consume about double...

Here's the full list of the 10 most addictive foods:

  1. Pizza
  2. Chocolate
  3. Chips
  4. Cookies
  5. Ice cream
  6. French fries
  7. Cheeseburgers
  8. Soda
  9. Cake
  10. Cheese

On the OTHER end of the spectrum, here are the foods that were voted the least addictive:

  1. Cucumbers
  2. Carrots
  3. Beans
  4. Apples
  5. Brown rice
  6. Broccoli
  7. Bananas
  8. Salmon
  9. Corn
  10. Strawberries

[Via LA Times/Mic/PLOS One]