We all have that packet of potato chips or a box of chocolates tucked away for a really bad day. Columbia University psychiatrist, Drew Ramsey, MD, author of The Happiness Diet and Fifty Shades of Kale says that people soothe stress with foods, and those that trigger the reward centres in the brain most effectively are salty, fatty and sweet, and we couldn’t agree more. Nothing makes us feel better than chocolates on a lousy day, but here is why you may want to stay away from them the next time you feel stressed. Regular intake of high-calorie and high-fat foods when we’re stressed slows down metabolism and which leads to weight gain.
Make sure you stay away from refined sugar when you feel like eating your stress away. These cold drinks, chocolate, pastries might make you feel better for a second or so, but without fibre to slow digestion of all that sugar, glucose levels spike, which in turn raises the stress hormone cortisol.
It’s easier to grab that packet of chips when you are feeling stressed, but it’s important to avoid white carbs when you are feeling lousy. Now, just like sugar, simple carbohydrates like chips, pies, bread and pasta can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, followed by a period of low energy and a subsequent craving for more energy hits. Also, they will also lead to gaining weight, which is another thing we constantly worry about. You could always opt for healthy vegetable chips rather than the ones that scream out trans fat.
Here is another one you might want to stay away from when you are stressing out. Caffeine. All of us dependent on coffee to instantly boost our moods, but it can leave us with the jitters, heart palpitations and affect proper sleep. And send us wanting one or two or three more cups of coffee.
So, opt for healthy salads, fruit juices, herbal teas, vitamin C rich fruits when you are feeling low, and make sure the stress doesn’t take a toll on the overall health of your body.