Sugar and processed foods can cause inflammation throughout the body and brain, which can contribute to mood disorders, such as anxiety and depression. When we're feeling stressed or depressed, we often reach for processed foods in search of a quick pick-me-up. Certain foods, when consumed in excess, can cause significant changes in the body's neurotransmitters (or signaling messages), to the point that you become dependent on junk food every time you feel depressed. Junk food can hinder the signaling of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin (the hormones of happiness).
This can lead to depression and other mental health disorders. In addition to depression, excessive consumption of fast food is linked to anxiety symptoms. The refined carbohydrates found in many fast food products can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Extremely low blood sugar levels can cause panic attacks, insomnia, and other anxiety symptoms.
In addition, a lack of omega-3 fatty acids in fried foods can cause the brain to mimic anxiety symptoms. These are the best (and worst) foods for calming anxiety. In their experiment, while there was no change (positive or negative) in how participants felt good, those who felt depressed felt worse after eating junk food. The sodium benzoate in junk food can cause a pleasant “high”, leading to hyperactivity or nervousness.
Mental health problems stem from situations in which there is junk food and in terrible working and living conditions. According to science, unless you're especially fortunate, a lifetime of eating garbage ultimately produces a body rife with diseases. However, sugary and ultra-processed junk food can cause inflammation in the brain and increase the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases and other chronic diseases. The researchers say that there have been previous studies that found a relationship between the consumption of ultra-processed foods and depression, but few reports have examined the total number of days of poor mental health that people experience when eating junk food.
People who regularly ate junk food were also much less likely to have zero days of “mental health” and zero “days of anxiety.” You might think it's a good idea to eat junk food when you're feeling depressed, but Penn State researchers have found the opposite. People who tend to eat a lot of junk food or fast food waste more than those who take the time to prepare meals. It could be the case that people who are anxious or depressed don't have the energy to prepare a healthy meal, or maybe eating junk food will make them feel better. I had numerous chronic health problems for many years before discovering that they were all related to ultra-processed foods, and MSG turns out to be the main source of my problems.