Process Your Emotions, Not Your Food

Processed your emotions not your food

Processed foods

Started as a convenience and have since become a permanent fixture in our lives.

Despite the ease they provide us, there are detrimental side effects that can result from consuming too much processed food, and which companies try to disguise with appealing packaging and great emphasis on how soon the food can be ready.

To clarify, processed food is anything that is altered during the preparation process to give it a longer shelf-life, make it more flavorsome, or increase convenience.

But this definition includes a wide variety of foods.

For example, a bag of baby carrots is technically processed, but it is still very similar to how you would find it in nature. However, highly processed foods, such as your favourite box of instant noodles, instant soup, or sweets, have been chemically altered with highly processed ingredients such as refined sugar, artificial additives, and artificial flavours, among other things.

Processed foods themselves are ok, but problems can occur when eating too many of these.

A large percentage of our diet comprises of processed foods, and you may not even know it!

A recent study estimates that more than half of the calories in an average American’s diet come from highly processed foods. Similar stats exist here for us Aussies.


Why is this a problem, though?

Let’s take a look at the health effects of highly processed foods.


Increased Risk of Diseases

Highly processed foods are full of added sodium, sugar, and fat, all with the goal of making the food taste better and you wanting to eat more of them. However, when consumed in significant amounts, these ingredients can also lead to some serious health conditions, including heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It’s clear that some of these conditions can lead to debilitating symptoms and lifestyle changes, all resulting from the food we eat.


Lacking in Nutrients

In addition to packing highly processed foods with unfavourable ingredients, the process of preparing these foods for consumers also strips many foods of their basic nutrients.

 This is one reason why supplements are increasing in popularity; they can help us get those daily vitamins and minerals that we are not getting from out diet.

 unhealthy office snack foods

Increased Depression and Anxiety

The added sugars and other highly refined ingredients in processed foods can cause inflammation throughout the body and brain. This inflammation in the brain can contribute to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. The bad part? When we feel depressed or stressed, we typically reach for processed foods for a quick pick-me-up, but it can then perpetuate the cycle and continue impacting mental health, and overall physiological well-being. Being in this state reduces productivity, creativity, and general quality of life.

Brain Fog

It’s hard to complete your work when you just can’t seem to concentrate, and highly processed foods may be the culprit. Foods high in added sugars, sodium, and refined grains (which comprise many processed foods), can cause brain fog, keeping you from tackling your to-do list.


chocolate drawer

It’s Time to Ditch Highly Processed Foods

Ready to see the benefit that turning away from highly processed foods can provide for your mental health and work productivity? Try swapping out highly processed foods for minimally processed vegan, gluten-free, or no sugar added alternatives, and see just how much your life changes when you eat more foods in their original (or close to original) forms.

Or pause for a second - are you really hungry, or do you just need a short break and some water?



Martínez Steele, E., Popkin, B., Swinburn, B., & Monteiro, C. (2017). The share of ultra-processed foods and the overall nutritional quality of diets in the US: evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study. Population Health Metrics, 15(1). doi: 10.1186/s12963-017-0119-3

Hu, D., Cheng, L., & Jiang, W. (2019). Sugar-sweetened beverages consumption and the risk of depression: A meta-analysis of observational studies. Journal Of Affective Disorders, 245, 348-355. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.11.015

Heart Disease: Sodium. (2022).

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published