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Reconsidering Comfort Foods: How Fatty Foods Can Worsen Stress

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Zara Nwosu
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Reconsidering Comfort Foods: How Fatty Foods Can Worsen Stress

Reconsidering Comfort Foods: How Fatty Foods Can Worsen Stress

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Recent studies have presented a new perspective on 'comfort foods'. It is common for individuals to turn to fatty, high-sugar comfort foods during stress-filled times. However, research now suggests that consuming these foods may actually worsen the effects of stress. This challenges the long-held belief that such foods provide relief during stressful situations. The study provides insightful revelations on the potential negative consequences of consuming fatty comfort foods in response to stress, urging individuals to reconsider their dietary choices during periods of emotional distress.

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The Negative Impact of Fatty Foods on Stress

According to a study conducted by experts at the University of Birmingham, food with high-fat content can worsen a person’s mood and increase their stress levels. This finding contradicts the popular notion that fatty foods provide comfort and alleviate stress. Research suggests that the consumption of fatty foods can alter the body’s response to stress, reducing oxygen supply to the brain and impairing vascular function. This reduction in brain oxygenation and vascular elasticity can potentially increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Comfort Foods to Avoid During Stress

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The study further sheds light on certain comfort-seeking foods that could potentially increase stress rather than alleviate it. These include high-fat snacks, sugar-rich foods, and alcohol. While alcohol can initially reduce stress, it can also prolong feelings of tension and trigger more drinking. Similarly, a high-salt diet can increase stress hormones by up to 75%. Sugar, contrary to popular belief, has no positive effect on mood, and consuming lots of it can worsen stress rather than relieve it.

Repercussions of Comfort Eating

Eating high-fat comfort foods when feeling stressed can trigger unwanted health reactions, such as a drop in the healthy elasticity of blood vessels and reduced oxygen flow to the brain. Consuming fatty snacks and sugar can increase cravings for more unhealthy food. This not only exacerbates stress but also increases the risk of developing health conditions like cardiovascular disease.

Opting for Healthier Alternatives

While the study highlights the negative impact of fatty comfort foods on stress, it also suggests healthier alternatives that could aid in stress management. Certain foods rich in polyphenols, such as berries, apples, grapes, green leafy vegetables, and cocoa, can help prevent alterations in vascular function. These foods were associated with better recovery from stress. By choosing nourishing options over stress-inducing comfort foods, individuals can support their overall health and better manage their stress levels.

Cardiovascular Diseases Fatty Foods Polyphenols Sugar
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