Snacking could be considered a serious hobby of mine. Whether I'm on my way to class or on break at work, there's a good chance you'll find me munching on something. Naturally, I've accumulated some favorites over the years. And without a doubt, the ever popular Flamin' Hot Cheetos are Top 5 material in my eyes. 

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Elizabeth Layman

If you don't love these spicy, cheesy pieces of hell—refrain from talking to me anymore because you are missing out, my friend. They're like regular Cheetos but on steroids. Okay, they may not be for the faint of heart, but if you can handle the fire it's worth the searing of your taste buds. 

I bet you didn't know how incredibly complex and nuanced this snack actually is. There's so much more to Flamin' Hot Cheetos than what you see on the surface. 

1. They Were Created by a Janitor 

Former Frito-Lay janitor, Richard Montañez came up with the idea for Flamin' Hot Cheetos after taking a batch home with him from work. He was inspired by the Mexican street food called elote, and sprinkled chili powder on them. 

He must have been very confident in how finger-licking good this upgrade was because he arranged a meeting with the CEO of the entire company to pitch the idea. Now Montañez is an executive vice president in Frito-Lay. 

2. They Actually Might be Addicting 

We often say that we're "addicted" to our favorite foods and drinks, but Flamin' Hot Cheetos are rumored to actually have addictive qualities in their ingredients. Medical professionals have compared it to "mild opiate addiction".

The burning sensation we get from the peppers in Hot Cheetos causes a release of natural opioids (endorphins) in our bodies. It makes us feel good (at least until the opiate is gone) and then we feel the need to eat more.

3. The Serving Size Is Very Inaccurate 

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Elizabeth Layman

You know how in some bags of chips it seems like you're getting half air, half snack? Well, Cheetos doesn't play that game. The serving size on the bags states that there are about 189 chips, but it turns out there are closer to 237.5 chips per bag—not that we're complaining.  

4. They're Not Allowed in Some Schools

Why someone would try to deny others the opportunity to enjoy a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, I will never understand. But a few years ago, schools in California, New Mexico, and Illinois decided to ban the snack from on-campus consumption. 

Its lack of nutritional value was the main reason the schools labeled Flamin' Hot Cheetos contraband. But kids were also eating way more than the recommended portion amount, and the whole addictive thing didn't really help either. 

5.  They've Been Behind Some Serious Health Scares

I've joked about the potency in a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, but these snacks have been the reason for one too many hospital visits. People who eat large amounts of Flamin' Hot Cheetos have had chest and stomach pains, as well as their poop turning red from the dye. 

6. The Spiciness Is a Mystery

What makes these Cheetos "flaming hot" is as much of a secret as the Krabby Patty formula. The public has no idea what combination of spices is used in the recipe. 

The bag lists, "Flamin' Hot Seasoning" as an ingredient, but the maltodextrin in it doesn't give us much insight into the spicy factor. The world may never know.

7. They Can be Eaten in Many Ways

You don't have to limit yourself to just enjoying Flamin' Hot Cheetos straight from the bag. People have taken this snack food and used it to enhance everyday foods.

I'm talkin' anything from Cheeto-ritos to Hot Cheetos Crispy Treats; even restaurants are trying to incorporate the snack in their dishes. 

So the next time you're in 7-Eleven with the late night munchies—think twice before reaching for this bag of maltodextrin flavored snacks. Or if you're like me, grab two.