No doubt you’re heard the expression that “you are what you eat” too many times to count over the years.
And though we all nod our heads in agreement when hearing this, do we take those words of wisdom to heart? Or are our eating habits too ingrained in each one of us to change?
As Thanksgiving Day fast approaches maybe it’s time to review a list of foods we should avoid altogether, or consume in moderation…
3 Foods that may affect your mood
When it comes to eating well it is difficult to do when you’re busy, stressed out and perpetually on “the go.”
So it should come as no surprise that the items on this list are the ones that typically take the least amount of time to prepare (or get), and ones that just about all of us will recognize as sabotaging any chance to eat well:
- fast food
Like I said, these are pretty obvious.
Now, pasta has long been seen as a culprit for undermining any chance you have of losing weight, or keeping the pounds off. As Wikipedia points out, carbohydrates come from foods that are often “highly processed or refined foods made from plants.”
And this includes pasta, among others.
But what you may not know is that pasta (along with white rice, white bread and bagels) are foods that have been linked to inflammation and depression in women ages 50 to 77, according to an October 2013 study in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. In other words, certain foods do actually affect your mood.
And some foods, like pasta, may actually lead to depression in women.
The study also found that certain foods, if consumed daily, help to reduce inflammation and therefore depression:
- olive oil
- sweet potatoes
- leafy greens
So pass the wine, cook with olive oil and eat your carrots and spinach. Turns out mom was right, a carrot a day helps to keep the doctor away.
No matter what you call it, drinking more than 1 soda a day can’t be good for you. Or as my friend Chris would say, drinking that much sugar.
Let’s face it, soft drinks pose more of a health hazard to you than an increased chance of a cavity during your next dental exam. And whether it contain sugar or an artificial sweetener, drinking soft drinks on a regular basis is not considered healthy.
And deep down I think we can all agree on this.
It turns out it is not a good way to rehydrate your body. In many instances you often feel more thirsty after consuming a soft drink. What’s more, according to the same study cited above, the “sugar crash” that follows the rush might actually be depression.
That’s because, just like pasta, soft drinks are an inflammatory food that has been linked to an increased risk of depression.
Let’s get real for a moment.
We love fast food, don’t we? I’ve certainly eaten my fair share over the years: McDs, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC, Sonic. And that’s just off the top of my head.
When traveling or on the road, fast food offers you convenience. Take away the drive thru window and I’m not sure how much fast food we would consume. After all, the two were just made for each, don’t you agree?
Now, we know that there is a direct link between the foods you eat and obesity.
In fact, in this country obesity is considered an epidemic. But did you know that people who eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who don’t, according to a 2012 study in the journal Public Health Nutrition.
Those numbers are certainly cause for concern.
Think of it this way — when eating fast food what is your beverage of choice?
Down south it might be sweet tea, but I would wager that soda is probably the drink of choice for most people when eating fast food. What’s more, the food In fact, fast food is usually consumed with soda, the #2 food on our list above. So eating fast food and consuming soda on a regular basis have both been shown to lead to an increased incidence of obesity as well as an increased chance for depression.
Diet and your health
Viewed holistically there’s no escaping the fact that poor diet leads to poor health.
And recent studies have shown this to be true, identify the link between obesity and many other health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, depression and sleep apnea (to name a few). So when you get right down to it the foods you eat on a regular basis determines your quality of life.
So what does this all mean?
As Dr. Jack Hauser, a cardiologist in the greater New Haven area, points out “whether you’re at risk of becoming obese, currently overweight or at a healthy weight, you can take steps to prevent unhealthy weight gain and related health problems.”
In fact, though changing your eating habits can be quite challenging, there are 8 easy-to-implement strategies that you can start using today to help you make better, and healthier, choices when it comes to your diet.
After all, you don’t have to wait until New Year’s to make those resolutions.