Do you have a habit of “eating your feelings” when you are anxious or feeling sad? It’s time to change this habit because researchers have found that eating ultra-processed food can lead to depression. Artificial sweeteners, a bag of chips, or a tub of ice cream, choose your pick. These tasty yet unhealthy foods are the fuel to spike your depression.
A study published by JAMA Network between September 2022 and January 2023 has some insights into it. It says that women with a higher intake of ultra-processed foods are more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression. In comparison, those who ate no more than four servings of UPFs regularly were found to be in a healthy mental state.
Food and drinks that contain sweeteners are not only unhealthy but also affect your gut and brain negatively. Let us take a detailed look at how these packed foods are affecting women’s health:
Low In Fibre
Packed foods are prepared with more preservatives than fiber that your body needs. This is also the reason why you get the feeling of fullness on eating a small portion of it. Packaged foods like ready-to-eat meals, sauces, or soups lack the fiber that your body needs to digest the food. Women need foods that are high in fiber to function properly and lead a healthy life.
High Content Of Sugar
For all those women having cravings for sweets, this is unhealthy on an extreme level. Your taste buds may enjoy the delicacies for a moment but it can contribute to weight gain and energy levels. Eating too much carbonated sugar can also affect your heart health and spike depression. Consuming too much of everything at once is always a bad idea, even when it’s covered in chocolate.
Rich In Sodium
From eating fries to blue cheese, and breakfast cereals to deli meats, all of them are rich in sodium. It is understandable to eat these once in a while, but consuming them on every meal every day can harm you. It increases blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.
It is no surprise that when vegetables and fruits when stored for a long time in preservatives tend to lose their nutrients. Similarly, the soup mixes, or packaged rice dishes that you think to be healthy are not at all healthy. Women need nutrients to maintain their hormone regulation and energy levels.
Leads To Obesity
Consuming too much ultra-processed foods leads to obesity and type 2 diabetes in people. Since unhealthy food is high in calories and low in nutrients, it does satisfy your hunger but not your body. Additionally, this affects you profoundly if you do not exercise regularly. Many researchers have also concluded that packaged goods can lead to chronic diseases and affect your mental health.
In conclusion, it is an individual choice to eat what they like, but close attention should be paid to where that food is coming from. Women especially nowadays rely on processed foods rather than home-cooked meals as they are working and lead a hectic life. But try to indulge in self-care and incorporate fruits as your snacking partner. It is high in fiber and mother nature’s sweet delicacy.
Depression not only affects your mental health but also your whole body. The saying that the “mind plays games” is not factually wrong. What you eat is what you feel and how you treat your body is entirely up to you. So make the right decision and choose a healthy life.
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