Can Your Diet Cause Anxiety and Depression?

Are You Eating Foods That Are Causing Anxiety and Depression?

We have all heard the words since we were kids ‘we are what we eat.’ Well I have just been reading an article about recent studies on how a high fat diet has been linked to anxiety and depression. Do you eat a high fat diet or lots of junk foods? If you are you may be triggering your anxiety symptoms!

It was very interesting, as they say that high fat foods are comforting and make us feel good…and to feel good we want more…we eat more and gain weight…then we become depressed because we did.

We want more, almost like an addiction and it becomes a vicious circle.

It made me start to think about how so many people eat for comfort or start binge eating, especially when they are feeling depressed or stressed. Is that why there is so much obesity around in the world today because our lives are so filled with stress?

It starts to make you think doesn’t it? It also makes me wonder if all the fatty foods have a lot more to answer to than just obesity.  These foods affect us physically and mentally.

Unfortunately too many of us reach for our favorite comfort foods, which are quite often than not, high in fat and calories. I guess not too many of us reach for the lettuce leaf or carrot stick!

It has already been proven that stress and obesity are linked, so it makes perfect sense to me that anxiety and depression could either be causing people to reach for the bad foods…or the bad foods are what is actually causing the problem in the first place. It’s just one big merry-go-round that is hard to get off.

Universite de Montreal researchers are reporting that high-fat diets increase anxiety and depressive-like behaviors in mice — a finding that a leading Canadian obesity expert said runs counter to almost everything we have been told about fat-dense foods.

All these signals, send triggers to the brain and effect the dopamine and serotonin levels…the happy, feel good hormones. So even our foods may have a lot to answer to as far as our anxiety and depression.

According to lead researcher Dr. Stephanie Fulton, “fat rich foods can actually cause chemical reactions in the brain in a similar way to illicit drugs, ultimately leading to depression as the ‘comedowns’ take their toll.”

Fulton said the type of fat might make a difference. Other research has shown that food high in saturated fat — such as hamburgers, bacon, pork sausages, cheese, butter, ice cream — cause inflammation throughout the body, including the brain, and that this inflammation may be causing changes that can lead to “negative mood states.” But Fulton’s lab has found some evidence that animals consuming the same total amount of fat, but “good fat, like olive oil,” experience less anxiety. Resource

Foods That Affect Anxiety, Depression and Mood Swings

In the video below, Trudy Scott is a Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist and she says “I am thrilled to be sharing my passion about natural solutions for anxiety and other mood problems, so you don’t have to use medications and you can and will feel on top of the world!”

So I guess my parents and teachers were right when they said, “you are what you eat” except I always thought they meant on the outside…not the inside. Now I won’t reach for that block of chocolate when I am feeling down, I think I will turn on some nice music and treat myself with a different ‘treat’ and remember how the high fat foods will affect my moods. Just remember ‘foods affect your moods!’

Not too hard a phrase to remember either! What do you think? Do you find certain foods have an effect on you? Let me know in the comments below. Plus if you like the article I’d be happy if you clicked to share!

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About Jennifer Johnson

I suffered with social anxiety and stress for years. I discovered what my triggers were and learned to control them. Hopefully some of the natural anxiety relief techniques I have tried, will also be your solution.


  1. Makes sense what you say here. Emotional eating is a very real problem.

  2. Anthony D'Aconti says

    I went through the same vicious cycle. I started eating chocolate because not only do I love chocolate, but I also get an emotional satisfaction from eating it. I slowly started packing on the pounds, which gave me anxiety. Now, I have to choose between eating something I love and trying to get healthy enough to ease my anxiety. It is without a doubt a vicious cycle.

    • Jennifer Johnson says

      It certainly is a vicious circle Anthony. It’s another reason why weight gain and stress are also related. At least you understand the importance of your diet when it comes to helping your anxiety.

  3. Aha! So curling up with ice cream after a bad day will make it worse! I’ll have to remember this and stay away from the freezer 🙂 Thanks!

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