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Stress Management Through Healthy Eating: Foods to Avoid

Stress is a normal part of life, but when it becomes excessive and chronic, it can cause serious physical and mental health issues.[0] In order to maintain a healthy level of stress, it is important to be mindful of the foods you are consuming. Nutritionist Lovneet Batra recently shared on her Instagram post some of the foods that should be avoided when it comes to stress management.[1]

Sugar is one of the main contributors to anxiety and mood swings. Eating sugary foods like cakes and pastries cause your blood sugar to go on a rollercoaster ride of spikes and crashes which can result in your energy fluctuating and your mood souring.[0] A study published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews in August 2019 found that taking in too much sugar was linked to altered brain function and contributes to anxiety and depression symptoms.

Artificial sweeteners are often recommended as a substitute for sugar, but studies show that using non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) can cause inflammation and stress in the body.[0] Aspartame usage can even lead to systemic inflammation, oxidative stress, and production of excess free radicals.[2]

Refined carbs, such as white bread and white rice, can worsen inflammation and overwhelm the body with more sugar than it needs, leading to an increase in stress and unstable mood levels.[0]

Coffee and tea can also have an effect on stress levels as the caffeine content stimulates the central nervous system.[1] Excessive consumption can result in heart palpitations, shaking, irritability and insomnia, as well as inhibiting the absorption of B vitamins.[0]

In order to better manage stress, it is recommended to practice healthy stress management techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, journaling or taking a walk.[3] Eating healthy, stress-reducing foods can also help keep your moods more stable and reduce anxiety.[2]

0. “5 Foods that trigger stress and anxiety” Northeast Now, 28 Feb. 2023,

1. “The 8 Worst Foods for Anxiety, and What to Eat Instead |” Livestrong, 20 Feb. 2023,

2. “5 foods that trigger stress and anxiety” Hindustan Times, 28 Feb. 2023,

3. “6 healthy strategies to help with emotional eating” LA Daily News, 24 Feb. 2023,

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