Five Reasons You Should Avoid Fatty Foods While Trying to Improve Your Mental Health

We all know that we should generally eat healthy, but perhaps of us are less switched on around the link between diet and mental health. However, there is a clear link, and fatty foods can have a significant impact on both our physical and mental health.

Of course, we all like a hamburger every now and again, often something we turn to after a few drinks. In fact, it can be incredibly problematic combined with the likes of addiction, with drinking too much alcohol or taking drugs incredibly influential in poor dieting and craving junk and fatty foods. It’s one of the first things professionals look to change when patients go through NHS rehab clinics.

fatty foods

The reason is, while fatty foods may feel like a treat, they can be hugely detrimental to our mental health. And for a variety of reasons too…

Negative Impact on Brain Function

One of the primary reasons to give up the fatty foods if you are suffering with your mental health and conditions like addiction and depression is the fact that they can have a huge impact on brain functioning.

fatty foods and mental health

The likes of trans fats and saturated fats can cause inflammation in the brain, affecting neurotransmitter functioning and cognitive processes. What’s more, they can not only reduce cognitive abilities, but also increase the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Increased Risk of Depression and Anxiety

Actually, regularly eating fatty foods can be a cause of depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that unhealthy fats disrupt the balance of chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, which are important for regulating mood.

fatty foods and depression

Therefore, high intakes of trans fats and saturated fats have been shown to increase the risks of anxiety and depression, while a healthy diet, rich in nutrients can help stabalise mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Poor Gut Health

We’ve probably all experienced a funny gut after an evening or period of time where we’ve eaten badly. Often when we’re on holiday. Fatty foods can seriously disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, inflaming the gut and leading to conditions such as dysbiosis.

This can exacerbate mental health problems, particularly as fatty foods also decrease the production of short-chain fatty acids, which are vital for brain health.

fatty foods and gut health

Weight Gain and Self-Esteem Issues

Fatty foods are calorie-dense and can easily lead to weight gain if consumed in excess. Weight gain and obesity are often linked to low self-esteem and body image issues, which can contribute to poor mental health. Struggling with body weight can lead to feelings of inadequacy, social anxiety, and depression.

By avoiding fatty foods and choosing healthier options, you can manage your weight more effectively, which can boost your self-esteem and contribute to a more positive mental outlook.

Decreased Energy Levels and Fatigue

Finally, you’re going to have less energy and fatigue will kick in. We’ve all felt sluggish after a McDonald’s or a meal where unhealthy fats are particularly prominent. They can lead to a lack of motivation, productivity and make it harder to engage in physical and mental activity.

Over time this can lead to putting on weight, getting behind on work and generally leaving you feeling tired, which is only going to have a negative impact on your mental health. Instead of fatty foods, opt for a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains that can boost energy levels and help you lead a more active and fulfilling lifestyle.

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