Thursday, August 6, 2015

Do Certain Foods Make You Sad?

While eating is done at least three times a day and is a way for our bodies to receive fuel, eating is more than just a 'refueling' or impersonal experience.  People prefer to eat in nice places and socialize with family or friends while they eat.  Additionally, people want to eat food they like and food that makes them happy.  Therefore, a food that would make someone sad is avoided.  No one wants to feel sad.

However, the chemical composition in certain foods can impact the mind and body thereby affecting one's mood and mental state.  The food you eat can have a pronounced biochemical effect on your mental health.  A recent study found that diets with foods having a higher glycemic index (particularly those rich in refined grains and added sugar) were associated with greater odds of depression, It was the added sugars, not the total sugars or total carbohydrates, which were strongly associated with depression. Further, some aspects of diet could have protective effects against developing depression.  These were foods like fiber, whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables and lactose (a sugar that naturally comes from dairy products).

Someone might argue that eating whole grains, fiber and vegetables make them sad.  Yet, with depression on the rise and the increased consumption of processed foods (which is connected to the rising obesity rates), the definition of sadness comes into question.  Maybe the issue can be reframed in the context of short term versus long term happiness.

There is also the idea of being open to change and getting curious about ways we can feel balanced and energetic.  Saying that your diet’s bad causes guilt or resistance.  Maybe consider the ultimate benefit and be willing to try a new way to eat for a couple weeks and see how you feel.  The increased energy level and better mood might be enough for you to change your diet on a more permanent basis.  The effort will be worth it.

Stay healthy & well,

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