According to one survey, 38% of adults eat unhealthy foods or overeat during periods of stress. While it might seem like a pint of ice cream or bag of chips offers temporary relief, new research reveals that eating junk food could negatively impact your mood.

The stress/appetite connection

Research shows stress is associated with higher fat intake. A spike in cortisol levels (when stressed) increases appetite. That can create a bigger problem when you reach for fried, salty or sweet foods that have little nutritional value and a lot of excess calories. These foods increase inflammation and cause your blood sugar to spike, which can tank your mood.

Factors such as oxidative stress, inflammation and insulin resistance can trigger brain changes associated with depression; diet can combat these mood-altering brain changes. While the foods you choose have an impact on your mental well-being, the reverse is also true: Your mood can influence your appetite…..

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