7 Worst Foods for Mental Health

We are what we eat! Many mental health studies have been looking at the link between diet and mental health. We’ve outlined some of the best foods to eat in the past, but there are also certain foods you should avoid if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression. Here are some of the worst foods for mental health.



There is no benefit to drinking soda, either regular or diet. The sugars in it can spike blood pressure, which can impact the brain. There have also been studied that linked soda to depression. The caffeine in the soda can also be bad if you’re struggling with anxiety.


White Bread

It’s time to reconsider your toast and sandwiches. White bread is made from highly processed white flour, which is quickly turned to sugar by your body. This can create energy spikes and crashes that are bad for both anxiety and depression. Try swapping out your white bread for whole-grain!


Light and Sugar-Free Products

We all know processed sugar is bad for us, and many companies are now creating “light” or “sugar-free” versions of their products. Whether it’s diet soda or a light dressing, these might actually be worse than the regular stuff. Companies swap out “high fructose corn syrup” for “aspartame”, which is an artificial sweetener that has been linked to anxiety and depression!



Caffeine addictions are so common today we rarely talk about them. While a cup of coffee, or two… or three, in the morning, may feel like a regular routine, it may be negatively impacting your mental health. Caffeine can make you feel jittery and nervous, and it also leads to withdrawals and impacts sleep patterns. Try switching to decaf or swap out coffee with tea which has lower levels of caffeine.


Energy Drinks

We’ve all hit that wall of tiredness before, but maybe don’t chug an energy drink. These drinks have been known to cause irregular heart rhythms, anxiety, and sleep issues. These beverages have extremely high levels of caffeine, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. Drinking water and eating whole fruit is a better way of giving your body energy!



It’s not uncommon for people with mental health issues to turn to alcohol as a form of self-medication. This, in turn, can cause an addiction to develop, which will only make other mental health issues worse. Alcohol can impact the brain’s chemistry and disrupt sleep patterns. Some in moderation is fine, but don’t use it to fix your mental health issues!


Fried Foods

They say deep-frying anything makes it better, but while the food’s taste may improve the impact it will have on your body doesn’t. Not only are fried foods bad for physical health, but they’ll also negatively impact your mental health. They contain high levels of unhealthy fats and sodium, which have been linked to mood changes, irritability, and energy levels.


Want to learn more mental health tips? Contact us today!

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez