Avoid These Foods & Improve Your Mood!

Diet and nutrition often appears to be such a complex topic. Knowing the right things to eat in order to maintain the optimum health of our bodies, both inside and out, can take a while to get to grips with. However, once you get there and you understand what’s good, what’s bad, what you need and what you don’t, then there are no limits to how great you can feel physically. However, the same thing also applies when considering your mental and emotional wellbeing.

The foods that you eat will have a great impact on your mood, making it all the more important that you choose wisely. Several ingredients found in common food items can have a serious impact on the nervous system which will not only affect energy levels but can also leave you feeling anxious and depressed. When considering this, one of the biggest problems is that even the smallest amounts of these ingredients can have cause these things to occur. That means that if you’re not avoiding these ingredients entirely then you’re at risk of disturbing your mood each and every day.

So, what ingredients am I referring to specifically?

First of all, sugar. It’s absolutely no secret that I detest this as such a huge part of the modern day diet. When it comes to processed and packaged foods, it is included in abundance and it is making us sicker and fatter the more we continue to consume it. It wreaks havoc with the pancreas and the liver, often leading to insulin resistance. Over consumption of sugar can quickly cause diabetes as well as severe problems with your thyroid gland. It will also cause blood sugar levels to spike which will then mean an imminent crash – and with this crash will come with an irritable mood. Sugar is best avoided altogether or at least only consumed in small, sensible portions rarely.

The next major culprit is white flour. You might think that you don’t consume that much white flour but it is frequently used in things like soup and salad dressing as a thickening agent. It does crazy things to our blood glucose levels without providing any real nutrition. Consuming white flour will quickly cause mood swings and can also actually leave you feeling hungrier than before. The best way to avoid the detrimental effects of white flour is to choose whole grain varieties.

Refined oils can also have a huge impact on our mood when we include them in our diet. Refined oils contain high levels of trans fat which will increase levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol in the body. These kinds of oils will also cause you to gain weight easily. As they are difficult to digest, you will find your body sapped of energy which will of course leave you feeling unhappy and tired. Choose unrefined oils instead, such as coconut oil, olive oil or flax seed oil. You’ll soon notice the difference in your mood and your health!

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39 Comments Add yours

  1. wdouglas14 says:

    Very wise words. I’ve just started growing stevia to replace sugar. And although cutting out white flour seems difficult, the wholegrain equivalent products can be so much tastier.

  2. awax1217 says:

    Since my stroke of thirteen years ago I have sworn off or limited my sugar intake and my salt intake and my food intake. In other words the intake is limited. Mood swings are controlled but I do not know if that is from the foods or the fact I am now retired and not under stress from the job. All I know is you are on the right track. Food is the curse of us and we must watch what we eat.

  3. johnmcfarm says:

    You certainly hit the nail on the head. Back when I was diabetic I noticed certain foods which would either depress or make me feel agitated. Sugar (refined, not like fruit) and fats were the worst culprits. I have since reversed my diabetes but still follow a low sugar low fat diet…although I do use Olive Oil and Coconut Oil. Thanks for posting this!

  4. Those are the big three, aren’t they? I think most difficult thing about limiting them is that they exist in nearly all children’s snacks. Trying to educate children on healthy choices is a tough one, since they want what they see come out of their friends’ lunch boxes. Although I love my sweets, I’ve tried limiting them and frankly I feel so much better for doing so.

  5. Laura Hurry says:

    Great post!
    I have a few food allergies and white sugar is one of them so I am forever reading packet labels. I’m always so surprised to see sugar as one of the first ingredient in most foods; even the ‘healthy’ foods are usually full of sugar and it’s often hard to avoid consuming. I tend to make my food from scratch, but I am always on the hunt for a curry paste, or Chinese sauce that I can actually use. So for now, I shall stick to my own homemade versions.

  6. Can you give examples of refined oils please?

    1. juliemontagu says:

      Refined oils are those such as vegetable oil and sunflower oil so it’s best to choose the unrefined variety such as coconut, flax seed and safflower – check the label to be sure 🙂

  7. snsnightlifemagazine says:

    Reblogged this on SNS Nightlife Magazine.

  8. 1.5 months without sugar, feel way better:-)

  9. Sugar is such a killer and manufactures blatantly sneak them in to so many products. Parent’s aren’t even aware of the copious amounts of sugar their feeding their children from breakfast cereal alone. Great article for creating awareness!

  10. I haven’t had sugar in years and I am so happy I stopped. It was hard at first but I started cutting down in my tea and coffee and after that it got easier. 🙂

  11. Alexandria Nicol says:

    Spot on with the sugar! It is amazing the difference you feel in mood and energy when you limit or cut out sugar! It helps me stick to my workout plans too when my body feels good 😊

  12. Hello Julie: I enjoy your blog and your unique perspective so much I nominated you for The Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award. Good work deserves recognition.
    Please see the details here. https://lightwalker1.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/the-sisterhood-of-the-world-bloggers-award/
    Happy Blogging. Shannon

  13. James says:

    I’ve recently discovered an undeniable link between a sudden, highly irritable mood change to scarfing down a candy bar 15 or so minutes before. Which is ironic since I usually go for a candy bar when I am looking for a “mood boost.” But it’s temporary and the crash that follows and the change of mood is no longer worth it.

  14. Birdie R. says:

    I find refined sugar is one of the worse substances for my body. There is always a supply of sugar being passed around in my work environment, namely, the faculty lounge!

  15. Greg Gordon says:

    You have the basics almost correct re, sugar (which is a combination of sucrose and fructose, and needs to be limited in our diets, however the good saturated fats MCFA are a must in staying healthy, and cholesterol is made by our body’s 80% and is a very necessary inclusion for a healthy body….bit more study required on Nutrition seems like you may not be keeping up with it so well?..www.lifestylehealthy.net

  16. missdess says:

    I agree that sugar is one of the most deadly ingredient. My mom used to eat sugary foods like chocolates, powdered juice, candies and cakes, and now she have a type 2 diabetes. We are monitoring her blood sugar level and the diet includes “no sugar” at all. By the way, would like to ask if honey can be a substitute.

  17. Feast Wisely says:

    Great summary – I have avoided sugar and vegetable oils for a few years now and there’s no going back. PS check out the documentary ‘Carb loaded’ – you’ll like it.

  18. naz2017 says:

    Reblogged this on simplyactivelearningnow and commented:
    Food is the real medicine on earth!

  19. Hi Julie,

    Thanks for following the Half-Eaten Mind.

    Vijay

  20. bogardstyle says:

    Reblogged this on Beautiosity and commented:
    Ladies, you better listen!

  21. Mira Prabhu says:

    Reblogged this on mira prabhu and commented:
    Elevating your mood with the right foods: courtesy Julie Montagu…read on…

  22. dazeddiaries says:

    So spot on!!!! Ever since I cut these from my diet few months ago I’ve noticed a massive change in my body, health and general well-being!

  23. thomot says:

    Reblogged this on Wayne Thompson/First line Global and commented:
    Thanks for these reminders because, often times we forget that nature foods are the best types to consume and processed food are harmful.
    People should consider reading some of the listed ingredients o foods such as breads and crackers, do a research on these ingredients and they will be amaze about some of the stuff we put into our bodies.
    The best foods for human should be consume with little or no processing.

  24. thomot says:

    Everyone should have the opportunity to read this blog post it is a sure way to wake you up and think about how they are destroying their bodies.

  25. Good information! I’ve been working on avoiding sugar and flour, oils will be my next goal!

  26. soswick says:

    Thank you so much Julie! This was a great read especially during the month of February up here in Canada when comfort food full of sugar is so appealing. I really admire what you are doing with food and yoga. I am a nutrition student who is about to complete my yoga teacher training in may. So we are sort of on the same track!

  27. My name is Audrey Nelson and I am senior at Indiana State University. This was such a great post. I have always believed that what you eat affects your mood. When one chooses to eat healthy he or she has a higher self-esteem. Diet and nutrition have always been a controversial topic. I know there are ingredients out there that affect our nervous system and I think that is so scary. I have always tried to leave sugar out of my diet because I know the affects this ingredient causes. I have always used whole-wheat flour, but I did not know how bad white flour was for the body. I would not want to use an ingredient that affects my blood glucose levels and causes me to have mood swings. I know that refined oils contain high levels of trans fat and affect our cholesterol, which is why I always use coconut or olive oil. I also use coconut oil to wash my hair, wash my face and moisturize my skin.

  28. I’ve definitely worked hard to reduce my sugar consumption and focus on using wholegrain equivalents. I’ll have to evaluate my use of refined oils.

  29. fittacademy says:

    Good advice and so true that we are what we eat.

  30. Thanks so much for posting this! I’m just getting into this healthier/raw lifestyle and I’m so glad to have found your blog! Yay! I would have never thought that oil would have affected my mood but that is definitely something I plan to look into. I am really enjoying learning all of these new things. Again, thanks so much! 🙂

  31. aguilaromar says:

    I absolutely agree with you. Did you know that there is recent research that says that sugar is considered an addicting substance? just as a drug, it causes changes in our system that causes similar behaviors : the sudden need for ingesting high sugar foods, anxiety and depression when not consuming it , and time to time to increment the “dose” of sugar to feel good.

    When shopping for food, i recommend the 5-rule: in the nutritional facts label, it must have 5 ingredients for less. that ensures a better quality food.

    You also want your digestion in your favor: When you make a dish, consider the A-B-C approach: A- Vegetables B- Protein C- Complex Carbs Combine A+B or A+C , never B+C. High Calorie, High sugar foods stimulate blood flow to the digestive system, making you sleepy afterwards

    Hope this helps.

    Dr Aguilar

  32. Matthew Chiglinsky says:

    Flax seed oil might be the highest natural source of vegetable omega 3, but it’s also really expensive.

    Olive oil isn’t high in omega 3, and I’m pretty sure coconut isn’t either.

    I normally buy canola oil, despite the GMO controversy, because it’s high in omega 3 and easier to prepare than fish.

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