Food has the power to do worse things than make your favorite pair of jeans too tight, they can fluctuate your moods too. If you don’t take care of your health you’ll end up paying for it somewhere down the line with medications and doctor visits.

Just like how foods can cause cravings (read more about that HERE) foods can alter the way we feel and interact. We have discovered 15 foods that can put you in a bad mood. You’ll either want to avoid these all together or make sure you have them in moderation.

1. Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is high in fructose making it a culprit that can put you in a bad mood. It is considered to have the highest fructose content in comparison to any commercial sweetener and due to that fact it can be hard on the liver.  The high amounts of fructose affect your mood because it can increase the risk of metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions which can include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, excess body fat and increased risk of heart diseased or stroke).

As an alternative to agave nectar a better choice might me manuka honey, you can read about all the excellent reasons why you should try it HERE. In summary, it can help heal wounds, maintain healthy hair, can help digestion and most of all, all the positive side effects can help increase your overall mood too.

2. Deli Meat

Cold cuts can play a huge factor in putting you in a bad mood. This is because of all the chemicals that go into them during the process of their production. The chemicals are used to preserve them which then allows you and the grocery store to store them for longer periods of time. Furthermore, the preservatives, colorings, and additives could cause your body to hold water weight, bloating, headaches and maybe worst of all mood swings-I don’t need any of that in my life and I’m sure you don’t either.

It may take longer but a much better choice would be to roast our own meats and slice it yourself. If there is no extra time in your life to do something like that then you could consider going to your local grocery store or butcher and asking them to provide you with slices from meats have they roasted in-house.

3. Alcohol

For some people, alcohol might be their escape, or you think you may like to enjoy alcohol to feel better but what some people don’t recognize is that alcohol can actually have the opposite effect. Alcohol could be putting you in bad mood instead of enhancing it.

While alcohol can make you feel good momentarily, like a sugar high, your mood is bound to come down too. Afterall, alcohol is considered a depressant which means it can disrupt the chemical balance that occurs in the brain. This then can affect our feelings, actions and our thoughts. So always remember to drink your alcohol in moderation to avoid low moods.

4. Processed Foods

Processed foods include a long list and cover the shelves of many aisles in the grocery stores. Some examples are chocolate bars, donuts, candy, potato chips and even breakfast cereal as well as so much more. It almost feels impossible to avoid them nowadays. However, you may just want to take some precaution on your next grocery trip because these processed foods could be just the thing that is causing your bad mood.

The reason behind processed foods and affecting your mood is the trans fat. In a recent study, it showed that higher consumption of trans fat showed significant ties to increasingly irritable and angry moods. Along with affecting your mood trans fats can be linked to heart disease, cancer, liver irregularities, infertility, type 2 diabetes as well as increased risk of obesity. It’s important to watch your processed food intake and try having mother-natures-sugar, fruit when you have a sweet tooth craving.

5. High Sugar Juices And Cocktail Mixers

Whether you love fruit juices to complement your breakfast, enjoy a sweet drink to clench your thirst, or constantly use sugar cocktail mixers to make the perfect alcoholic beverage you may just want to cut back. Many fruit juices and cocktail mixers you buy at the store are full of added refined sugars and usually contain artificial flavors too.

The sweet taste of a sugary juice is pleasing to the palate and momentarily to our mood, but once again the sugar crash can have worse side effects on our moods. A sugar crash can leave us feeling tired and lethargic as well as irritable and depressed. Consider fresh pressed fruit juice instead of prepackaged juices and sparkling wine instead of a mixed drink to keep your mood inline.

6. Salted Nuts And Processed Seeds

While it may be recommended to eat a handful of nuts or seeds for a healthy snacking the salted or store-bought roasted variety might not be your best choice. Many processed and prepackaged seeds contain a preservative called potassium bromate. This can block iodine from being absorbed into our thyroids and when our thyroids aren’t working properly we may not either, which could mean a bad mood.

Furthermore, like seeds, store-bought salted nuts can be just as bad for you. They often will contain high levels of sodium and food additive known as MSG (monosodium glutamate) which is a flavor enhancer. Both of these can lead to the feeling of depression, fatigue, lethargic with mood swings and headaches. Consider buying unsalted or try roasting your own nuts and seeds at home.


7. Margarine

Margarine has been a conflicting food item for quite some time. For a little while, we were told to have margarine instead of butter. However, it has been shown in studies that margarine can actually have worse health benefits than butter.

This is because margarine contains high levels of omega-6-fatty-acids. These fatty-acids compete and can block out omega-3 fatty acids that our body needs. Omega-3-fatty acids are natural mood enhancers so you can see how margarine can affect our moods. Don’t feel conflicted the next time you’re at the grocery store, skip the margarine and choose a butter that comes from a grass-fed cow for optimal nutritional value.

8. Fries

Fries may be a favorite of many especially the fast food drive-thru variety. A salty goodness in one bite. Although did you know those crispy fries, as well as many deep-fried foods you know and love, can actually put stress on your cognitive function.

Almost every fast food joint or restaurant deep-fry their fries which unfortunately although delicious they are full of saturated fats, copious amounts of sodium and full of refined carbohydrates. All of these can contribute to a bad mood. This can occur by an energy crash, just like a sugar crash you feel satisfied momentarily but soon after your energy peaks, you find yourself feeling irritable, dull and foggy. So as you can see fries can do more than affect your waistline, considering baking your cut fries at home for a healthier option.

9. Coffee

Coffee can actually benefit our health in a few different ways. It is overflowing with antioxidants and can even prevent cognitive impairment, shown in several studies. However, the key to obtaining optimal health benefits from coffee is to have like most things, in moderation.

If you find yourself going about your day on number 3 or even a 4th cup of coffee and notice a dip in your mood, there could just be a concrete reason behind that. We all know that a coffee in the morning can put us in a chipper mood, but several coffees can start to impact our hormones, nerve signals, and our neurotransmitter functions. It can impact all of these to make us feel blue or jittery. Following, if you’re a caffeine addict you know what a day without it feels like, headaches and lack of energy, these are negative moods we want to live without. Make sure to drink your coffee in moderation and even try other healthy alternatives like green tea or matcha tea.

10. Bagels

Bagels are a popular breakfast item when it comes to food on the go. They’re full of carbs which leaves you satisfied and usually happy and calorie dense which satisfy your hunger. However, the simple carbs that make up a bagel can actually turn that momentary happiness into a mood swing disaster.

Bagels are generally made up of white flour which has zero nutritional value and can spike your blood sugar. Following the crash, you can be prone to mood swings and can then feel unfocused and lack energy which all contribute to a bad mood. When possible try to reaching for healthy carbs like sweet potatoes or steel cut oats instead.

11. Canned Foods

Canned foods could be another food item that is affecting your mood in a negative way. Firstly, a lot of canned foods contain high levels of sodium. While the sodium is usually used to preserve the foods consuming that much sodium could wreak havoc on your mood.

Following, some manufacturers used BPA (bisphenol A) in their cans which can then leach onto the food that is within. BPA used to often be found in epoxy coating cans or more commonly in plastic containers. Many studies show that BPA could cause chronic mood disorders like anxiety and depression as well as other health concerns too. When shopping the canned food aisles first try to buy fresh, if that isn’t realistic for you then make sure to look for “no sodium added” and “BPA free”.

12. Dried Fruit

Dried fruit may sound like a healthy choice when it comes to healthy snacking but that isn’t always the case. Some manufacturers will add in artificial sugars and preservatives to help enhance the flavor as well as maintain the color. As we have already discovered too much sugar can have a negative effect on your mood.

Secondly, dried fruit will lose it’s water content during the dehydration process making it very easy for you to overeat. A handful of fresh grapes is not the same as a handful of raisins so you may be tempted to eat a lot more than the recommended serving just to feel satisfied. Dried fruit can be a healthy snack because they usually do contain nutrients like fiber and antioxidants but always make sure to read the labels to ensure its artificial color and refined sugar-free as well as free of preservatives. You could even consider making your own dried fruit at home to help keep a balanced mood.

13. Egg Whites

Egg whites may have shocked you too when you found out they were on the list of foods that can put you in a bad mood. However, indeed egg whites can put you in a bad mood because they lack a lot of nutrients that the yolk actually contains.

Although the egg whites contain most of the egg’s protein that’s pretty much all you are getting from it. The yolk is where you can find more protein nutrients as well as choline (a macronutrient important for liver function, brain development and so much more) and B vitamins. All of these nutrients support a healthy brain as well as help keep our moods intact. So it may be better just to consume a few extra calories and eat the entire egg so you don’t sacrifice your good mood.

14. Sugar And Artificial Sweeteners

Sugar and artificial sweeteners is a sneaky one when it comes to foods that can cause bad moods. While we may be adding refined sugar or artificial sweeteners to our coffee or tea (which is just as bad) it is also hidden in a lot of our foods like granola bars, bread, toothpaste, and yogurt.

Sugar does taste good, there is no denying that but it can cause an addictive tailspin. We crave sugar because it makes us feel good but the sugar crash has worse side effects than that momentarily leaps of joy. A sugar crash can lead to anxiety, depression, and irritability all the while decreasing our body’s ability to fight off stress. To avoid the lack of being able to chill out try consuming 100% maple syrup instead as it is a healthier option. Maple syrup is a better option because it contains important minerals, and plant antioxidants to help promote health.

15. Non-Organic Fruits And Vegetables

You probably have heard it time and time again, buy organic. Nonetheless, it may just be for good reason because some non-organic fruits and vegetables could be affecting your mood negatively.

The pesticides that are often sprayed on non-organic fruit and vegetables could be giving you a generous dose of neurotoxins (a poison that can act on the nervous system). Considering these chemicals can cause nutritional deficiencies especially in minerals this can have an effect on our mental health. Many minerals help keep our moods balanced which is why it’s good to stay away from chemically sprayed vegetables and fruits. To learn more about what you should invest in organic read HERE.

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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