Lets face it. Too much junk food is bad for you. A mound of research shows that what we consume goes right to our limbic systems, the emotional headquarters of our body. If we feed it crap, we will feel like crap. If we treat it like the Mercedes we borrowed for the night, it will return the kindness.
Here are seven foods to try to avoid.
1. Refined sugar
A convenience store chocolate bar sure does taste good going down and can provide us that pleasant rush of energy for 20 minutes; however, that treat and all refined sugar causes our blood glucose levels to plummet, resulting in a sugar hangover that disrupts our mood, depletes our energy, and is linked to sleep disorders.
2. Artificial sweeteners
Aspartame is bad stuff. Especially if you are prone to depression. It blocks the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin and causes mood dips, headaches, and insomnia. The artificial sweeteners (you know what they are) could also be bad news as well. If you really need a soda fix, go for the fully leaded. The refined sugar, while not health food, is better for you than the fake kind.
3. Processed food
Consuming refined or processed carbohydrates — such as white bread, cereal, pasta, or snack foods — is going to cause the same impact on your blood sugar levels as eating a basket of jelly beans. Bagels are processed the same way donuts are. After the initial insulin boost, you will end up fatigued, irritated, and blue.
4. Hydrogenated oils
As if we haven’t already eliminated everything you eat, here is one more. Stay away from the fried chicken, the fried cheese sticks, fried calamari, and, ouch, French fries. Anything that is cooked with hydrogenated oils and contains trans fats could potentially contribute to depression. Also watch out for saturated fats, found in animal products such as deli meats, high-fat dairy, butter, etc. They can clog arteries and prevent blood flow to the brain.
5. Foods high in sodium
Fat-free foods might be good for your waistline but not all that great for your emotions. The excess sodium in these products can disrupt your neurological system, contributing to depression, and can muck up your immune system response, causing fatigue. Too much salt also leads to fluid retention and bloating, and we don’t have to tell you how depressing that is.