Nutritionists Explain Why Cheetos Are So Addictive

You open a new bag of Cheetos and think to yourself, “I’ll just have one or two.” Okay, who are we kidding? Nobody thinks that.....ever. However, it’s likely you don’t think you’ll scarf down the entire bag…….but before you know it, the bag is empty and you’re left with orange-tinged fingers and cheese dust under your nails. Not only that, you could easily eat more. Why is that? It’s all thanks to a devious plan to make you crave the orange puffs. With each bite, the brain is rewarded with instant feelings of pleasure. The initial snap, followed by the layer of salt, the puff of cheese, and the buttery-rich fat that melts on the tongue make it difficult to stop. An investigation found that Frito-Lay, the manufacturer of Cheetos, spent upwards of $30 million a year employing nearly 500 chemists, psychologists, and technicians to attain the perfect degree of crunchiness, aroma, and “mouth feel.” Mission accomplished! Cheetos contains a specific additive known to enhance snack foods’ addictiveness, and it’s called MSG. This additive is a purified form of naturally occurring glutamate, with sodium added for stability. It’s responsible for delivering that prized savory flavor, also called umami. Interestingly enough, the MSG doesn’t contain flavor. What it does is activate the glutamate receptors in our taste buds, making food taste more delicious. All of these things combined make eating this snack food a slippery slope to overeating.