Eating pizza feels exactly like shooting heroin, according to science
Research says its the most addictive food
by Una Dabiero
It really feels like most people I know have some kind of pizza dependency.
Think about it: whenever you're craving something, it's either chocolate… or pizza. Whenever your annoying skinny friend is looking to be "soooo bad", she's trying to get a thicc pepperoni slice. And when you're starving in college, the first thing you buy with your paycheck (or loan refund, whichever one) is an XL pie.
So I guess it's a slight relief –- or maybe straight-up terrifying –- to find out we really are all dependent. According to researchers at the University of Michigan, pizza is addictive in the exact same way that drugs are addictive. Apparently, the high fat and complex carbohydrate levels in pizza make our bodies treat it like heroin or crack. Good to know this isn't just a Me Problem.
In an interview with Thrillist, Dr. Stephen Neabore said, "If you show people a picture of pizza or if they’re eating it, the same area of the brain would light up — the same place that lights up for heroin." But he qualifies that he doesn't put it in "the same category" as drugs. Ok, Stephen.
The kinda crazy thing is it's not only that we love looking at pizza or indulging in a slice. According to the study, pizza shares the same "pharmacokinetic properties as drugs of abuse" like heroin and cocaine, meaning you get more pleasure out of pizza when you eat more and eat fast. I guess this explains why we all want pizza when we're sad or drunk: our bodies are looking for dopamine and looking for it fast.
But how do we stop the crippling pizza addiction that causes us to fully-fund the local Papa Johns and fill out our skinny jeans? Bustle suggests pairing your pizza with some form of vegetable, like a side salad, to disrupt pizza's effect on the brain. Just make sure your salad isn't covered in "dairy crack", or you're just going to OD on cheese.