Is Fast Food Contributing to Mental Illness?

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Is Fast Food Contributing to Mental Illness?

fast food and mental health disorders

With McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, KFC and more, fast food is becoming easier to obtain than ever before. Dollar menus capture our attention by pleasing to the more frugal aspect of ourselves, and tasty sandwiches and French fries lend themselves to our stomachs freely on a long drive home from work or after a stressful day. Eating these processed foods may seem harmless on occasion or even a few times a week, but the damage may be bigger than you realize.

The American Psychological Association has highlighted several studies that have shown that eating fast food, sugar, and soft drinks can contribute to depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and a host of other psychological problems. The documentary “Supersize Me” provides an extreme depiction of how fast food can affect someone’s mental and physical health; Morgan Spurlock consumes McDonald’s 3 times per day for 30 days and experiences weight gain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, massive headaches, low energy and severe depression. What makes these foods so damaging to our holistic health?

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates sleep and appetite, mediates our moods, and inhibits pain, is produced in our gastrointestinal tract. Our gastrointestinal tract is lined with a hundred million nerve cells, which explains why the food we place in our bodies impacts our sleep, eating, mood, and pain. Processed foods are high in unhealthy fats that are often hydrogenated, turning them into trans fats. When you typically consume food from fast food restaurants, the high fructose corn syrup and sugar serve as “empty calories” that have devastating effects on metabolism.

Studies have shown that individuals who take probiotics, the bacteria that is good for your health, experience improved anxiety, perceptions of stress, and overall mental outlook. Speak with your doctor regarding the best diet for your health and what vitamins you can take to increase your chances of mood, sleep, and eating stabilization. Become more mindful of what you are eating and how it makes you feel. Doing this may help you to lead a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.

If you’re seeking a mental health and/or substance abuse recovery treatment center, call us today at 888-958-7511. Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed treatment center with licensed, experienced professionals who care about your recovery. Make the decision to place your health and happiness as top priority, and call us for a consultation.

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