Are the Foods You Eat Harming Your Emotional Health?

food and health

Publish date

Jul 28, 2021

Post Author

Healthy U Behavioral Health


Emotional health is the centerpiece of the overall well-being of humans. Therefore, if someone is struggling with a mental health disorder, there’s a good chance that they could be struggling in the other aspects of life. Typically, when someone has a mental health disorder, they contact a therapist, and in some cases, they end up taking some form of medication. 

While treatment can have some positive effects, emotional health can be deeply impacted by getting to a therapist or taking medication. The foods and other substances that people put in their bodies can directly influence how we feel on both the inside and outside. Unfortunately, when it comes to the effect of consumption, people often lean towards drugs or alcohol. 

Health and Self-Esteem

When you take a deeper look, you may see a connection between weight gain from unhealthy foods and lower self-esteem. When you eat the wrong things, you may not only set yourself on the path to becoming overweight but also can unintentionally give yourself long-term emotional issues. 

Low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety can follow closely behind being overweight or obese. Although eating the wrong foods can lead to weight gain and ultimately someone being unhappy with their body, you do not necessarily need to be overweight to be affected by these foods. Too much sugar can cause your sugar levels to be inconsistent, which is counterproductive for those who have anxiety or depression. 

Foods That Affect Anxiety and Depression

Many unhealthy foods are harming the bodies of many people. Things like fruit juice may have names that include fruit, but they are completely overpowered by artificial sugars. Fruit juices can give you a sugar rush but then bring you back down just as fast as you went up. In some cases, this can leave you irritable and hungry.

Sodas are even worse than fruit juices. At the least, fruit juices have some nutrition, but sodas are 100% blood sugar-spiking beverages. Instead of juice or soda, look into seltzer water with maybe a splash of juice or infused with real fruits. Also, foods like bread, salad dressing, ketchup, and even soy can be filled with loads of sugar that negatively affect the body and mind. 

High Sugars and Mood Disorders

Many factors play a significant part in the body and minds of humans. Processed meats, fried food, candy, sweet cereals, and dairy products high in fat can cause problems for those who battle depression. Foods that have high sugar can be the beginning of a roller coaster, not only for your blood sugar levels but for your mood as well. The crash that comes after the rush you get from sugar can increase the symptoms of mood disorders. Sugar can suppress the BDNF hormone that is already in low levels in the body of those with depression. 

Ultimately, sugar can be the root of chronic inflammatory issues. Eventually, this can negatively affect the immune system, your brain, and many other parts of your body. 

How to Substitute Your Favorite Sugary Snack

The reality is that people don’t need the sugary snacks they consume. After years and years of consuming junk food, it may be a little harder to make that lifestyle change. There are simple and effective ways to slowly pull yourself away from the foods that are harming you. Instead of buying fruit juice, you can buy a juicer and make your own juices out of real fruit. Many delicious seltzer water brands can be mixed with a splash of juice to enhance the taste. One of the biggest problems people face with unhealthy foods is not having control over the ingredients they put in their bodies. 

Some substitutions may be more time-consuming, but in the long run, they are worth it. Since salad dressing has a great deal of sugar, you can make homemade salad dressing, which can be healthier and better for your taste buds. Instead of soy sauce, you can use liquid aminos that have lower sugar and sodium. 

One of the hardest foods to replace is bread, but you have options like lettuce and collards that can be used as wraps or sandwiches. You may notice a significant change in your energy and mood when you cut down on sugars. The healthy energy you gain will help you stabilize your mood. Not only will this positively affect your mood, but the outside of your body will begin to change as well, which can increase your self-esteem. 

The saying “you are what you eat” continues to be valid, even to this day. Having the right diet is for more than just looking good on the outside. When you cut down the sugar in your diet, you can potentially see major results. Developing a great diet does not have to be boring if you become creative with your snacks and meals. Foods high in sugar can negatively affect the way you think and feel inside. If you have found that you or a loved one has been struggling with anxiety or depression for any reason, you should get in contact with HealthyU. We provide a plethora of treatments for both kids and adults dealing with anxiety. At HealthyU, we can help you create a plan that will help you with anxiety or depression in the long run. Contact us at (619) 542-9542 to receive the help you need.