The most common emotional obstacle that we face in our daily life is most probably nothing but stress. There is stress because of work, because of studies, because of relationships, sometimes even because of not getting a satisfying number of reactions to our Facebook posts.
During a stressful time, one somehow wishes to keep himself/herself relieved (or in some cases, busy) as much as they can, and for this what can be a better option than eating?
Yes, that is how the concept of stress eating comes - eating to deal with stressful situations.
There are certain common things one may crave during stress. It is commonly thought that these certain food items can somehow release stress, while in reality, they do the complete opposite.
For example, it is a well-known theory that chocolates help a lot to relieve stress. Well, it does, but when you grab a bar of milk chocolate for that, the high rate of sugar inside does nothing but make you more stressed.
The same goes for ice cream. Ice cream is maybe one of the most craved foods during a stressful time. But it is proved that the refined sugar of ice cream increases the emission of cortisol and other hormones which are said to be stress hormones.
A bottle of coke or any other kind of soda also does nothing different. Even if it is made with any real fruit juice, still it does no good. The amount of glucose and fructose is extremely high in sodas. Typically, a can of soda contains 33-35 grams of sugar. The stress hormones are highly triggered by glucose, where fructose changes the brain's way of responding to stress genetically.
Apart from sweets, one may also crave for something hot, spicy, creamy or cheesy. For instance, carbs (dietary carbohydrates) are common foods that people crave for during a stressful situation. Because of helping in the emission of serotonin, the hormone of good feeling, craving for carbs is good.
But when the food is a refined carb, like cookies, crackers or especially pasta, it makes the blood pressure rise and fall, and as a result, there comes a feeling of anxiety and irritation.
Another food item that is not recommended while facing a stressful situation is red meat. Red meat contains an extreme level of trans fat and highly saturated fats, increasing stress more and more.
Potato chips are one of the most easy-to-find craved foods during stress. But sadly, potato chips are not the key to reducing your stress. Generally, these chips are high in sodium.
During stress, the blood pressure is elevated and the sodium in the chips increases the pressure even more, thus elevating blood pressure further.
Well, all these ‘not-recommended-during-stress’ food items have their own substitutes.
There are dark chocolates instead of milk chocolates, fruits containing vitamin C instead of ice cream and sparkling water instead of soda.
Besides, one can easily replace red meat with fish like sardine or salmon. Dry roasted nuts can be eaten as a substitute for potato chips.
All these substitutions will somehow help to reduce your stress so that you can sit straight for your next Facebook post, and get a record number of reactions!