Foods to Avoid
When changing your eating habits in an effort to reduce and manage anxiety, start by eliminating, or at least drastically reducing, these foods/ingredients. The list below highlights what you must avoid in order to heal your mind and anxiety.
It’s important to remember to not get overwhelmed by this list. Don’t throw yourself into a tailspin by thinking you must eliminate every single food or ingredient on this list by tomorrow, or even ever. That would be unrealistic and cause an unnecessary amount of stress and anxiety. Start by picking 3-4 items below and commit to eliminating them from your diet. Then pick another 3-4 items and commit to reducing your intake of each item, say to a couple of times per month. From there, you can work to keep reducing your intake so eventually you eliminate the food/ingredient altogether or maybe only eat, say a hot dog, once every 6 months.
For me, I will never eliminate coffee. I love it and allow myself one cup a day. I allow myself the occasional drink, I still have pasta from time to time, and sometimes I can’t resist a bag of chips or some prepackaged cookies. The key is that I don’t eat like that every day. I have reduced some of the foods and ingredients below so I only eat them seldom. It’s too overwhelming for me, and most people, to think they can never eat their favorite foods again or treat themselves to anything. By eliminating a few of the worst offenders and reducing the rest, you’re setting yourself up for great success, which is also maintainable!
This is by no means a fully comprehensive list. I will add more foods/ingredients as I learn about them!
- Hot dogs
- Sugar – refined
- Artificial sweeteners – sweet n’ low, aspartame, sucralose
- Hydrogenated oils
- Fast food
- Wheat bran
- Canned soups
- Apple juice
- Red wine
- High fructose corn syrup
- Food dyes
- Junk food
- Highly processed foods
* Tip: The bolded foods/ingredients are the ones I recommend eliminating from your diet completely. These are the worst offenders for increasing anxiety and pose the most risk to your overall health as well. Try to pick these as the first items you eliminate from your diet.
*Tip: Buying organic and non-GMO verified foods are also a great option for the foods/ingredients you want to reduce in your diet. Buying organic means that there are no artificial preservatives, chemicals, or crazy “ingredients” that you can’t even pronounce. Go for some organic and non-GMO canned soup, potato chips, cookies, etc. Even though these foods are still processed at least you can avoid unnatural and toxic ingredients. You’re doing your body and your mind a great service going organic.