Dr. Gary Small, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry and aging and director of the UCLA Longevity Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Dr. Small, one the nations top brain health experts, frequently appears on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Dr. Oz Show. He is co-author with his wife Gigi Vorgan of many popular books, including The New York Times best-seller, The Memory Bible, and The Alzheimer’s Prevention Program. He is author of The Mind Health Report newsletter.

Dr. Gary Small, M.D.

Bad-Mood Foods to Avoid

Friday, 28 Mar 2014 02:56 PM

By Dr. Small

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“The two worst foods that have no redeeming value are french fries and soda,” says Jonny Bowden, a cutting-edge nutrition expert and author of nine popular nutrition books who frequently appears on The Dr. Oz Show. And eating them will put you on a mood roller coaster.
 
In addition, studies have found that each of these foods contributes to a depressed mood:
 
Sweetened drinks. These include sodas, sweetened iced teas, and sweetened juice drinks or punches. It doesn’t matter whether the sweetener is sugar, corn syrup, or zero-calorie sweeteners. According to a study of more than 253,000 people, diet sodas, teas, and fruit punches were worse than regular versions.
 
Trans fats. Listed as “partially hydrogenated” oils on ingredient labels, this type of fat does the most damage to your mood, according to a study of more than 12,000 people. Trans fats are most often found in baked goods and other processed foods in packages in the supermarket, and in fast food.
 
Fast food. The combination of a lot of starch, unhealthy fat, toxins, and a lack of beneficial nutrients found in fresh vegetables, beneficial fish and grass-fed meat, contribute to damage. Routinely eating fast food makes you 50 percent more likely to have a dip in mood, according to a study of nearly 9,000 people.
 
MSG. The food additive has not been studied in relation to mood but there is a significant amount of anecdotal evidence, from various online MSG support groups, that it can wreak havoc on mood.
 
Toxins in food. Pesticides, artificial flavoring, and preservatives are all toxins. Although they are considered safe in small amounts, their safety has not been proven in the real-life situation where we ingest them from many sources for many years. However, toxins are known to disrupt hormones that very much affect our mood, as well as our overall health.

 

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Gary Small, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry and aging, and director of the UCLA Longevity Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior. Dr. Small, one the nation’s top brain health experts, is author of The Mind Health Report newsletter.
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