Your Anxiety Loves Sugar! What foods are high in sugar?
One of the big Aha moments of my clients is when they realize how much sugar cause depression and anxiety.
They usually discover it when they start reducing sugar and after much initial resistance, realize that:
Let me share more about how sugar feeds your anxiety, what foods are high in sugar, and what strategy you can implement to minimize sugar withdrawal and anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a constant feeling of nervousness, worry, or unease. This feeling can be a result of a specific environmental stimulus, or it may be imagined. Many people with anxiety have a generalized fear of the future, imagining outcomes that may not even happen!
Anxiety is a constant feeling of nervousness, worry, or unease. This feeling can be a result of a specific environmental stimulus or maybe imagined. Many people with anxiety have a generalized fear of the future, imagining outcomes that may not even happen! The National Institute of Mental Health reports that anxiety disorders affect 31.1 percent of adults in the United States at some time in their lives.
What contributes to Anxiety
A combination of genetic factors and the environment contribute to the onset of anxiety such as
• Any form of stress
• Substance abuse
• An imbalanced nervous system and neurotransmitters
• Diet and health of the microbiome
• Insufficient exercise, self-care, sleep
• Chronic inflammation
How does Sugar cause depression and anxiety
One of the most important factors contributing to anxiety is compromised gut health – Read more about it in my blog post where I explore the link of the gut-brain axis
As sugar is one of the main sources of food for bad gut bacteria, it causes cravings.
As sugar consumption increases, the gut-brain axis sends signals to the brain, imbalancing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine and affecting blood sugar, which affects stress hormones. This can lead to more anxiety.
Also, an important factor that helps us understand why sugar can cause depression and anxiety, is that 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut.
Hidden Sources of Sugar
So you have the noble health goal of eliminating sugar from your diet, but even with that goal, you will inevitably eat
sugar unless you are armed with knowledge about the hidden sources of sugar.
Here’s where sugar often hides:
1. Granola bars
3. Ketchup-based dressings (like BBQ sauce)
4. Fruit juice
5. Fruit (dried or fresh)
7. Frozen meals
8. Sloppy joes
9. Chinese takeout
10. Pasta sauce
14. Gummy worms
15. Energy drinks
16. Sweet tea/coffee
Keep in mind that there are many names used by food producers to keep you hooked without telling you it’s sugar.
What can you do to minimize sugar and anxiety?
Be Aware of Emotions
Take the time to notice what emotion is arising and be with it.
Decrease substances that can contribute to anxiety, such as caffeine, nicotine and anxiety.
Follow a well-balanced diet that includes whole foods and plenty of pure water. Cut out sugar and processed foods.
Include Calming Exercise
Practice some kind of non-vigorous exercise, such as swimming, walking, chi gong, or tai chi.
Get a Good night Sleep
Read something relaxing before bed and stay away from technology. Get to bed before 10 PM.
Make Time for Daily Relaxation
Bring in practices such as Meditation, mindful breathing, yoga nidra, and guided imagery.
Create a Sanctuary
Have fresh flowers or plants around, paint the walls in a soothing color and have artwork of calming landscapes.
Create a space for meditation and self care that is free of electronics or distractions
Reducing sugar is key for lowering anxiety and depression.
As sugar withdrawal is a big obstacles so, it’s important to implement proven strategies to overcome cravings.
I have prepared for you a complete guide on how to overcome sugar cravings
Here is what you get: