Foods to avoid when you have anxiety
Foodie Tips

6 Foods People With Anxiety Disorders Should Avoid 

When you have an anxiety disorder, your day-to-day routine isn’t easy. You worry and stress about every little thing in an attempt to avoid potential problems. It can be tough to cope with anxiety.  

When your anxiety disorder flares up, you might notice that you feel sick to your stomach. For many people with anxiety disorders, this can mean frequent trips to the bathroom with an upset stomach.  

It’s important for people with anxiety disorders to monitor what foods they eat to avoid having an upset stomach. Here are six foods people with anxiety disorders should avoid.  


Many people with anxiety disorders are sensitive to caffeine, often feeling jittery or hyper after consuming even small amounts. If you feel anxious every time you drink coffee or tea, this is likely your culprit. Even something as innocent as chocolate can sometimes cause anxiety in people who are sensitive to caffeine.  

You should try to avoid caffeine as best as you can. If you’re the type who likes the taste of coffee or tea, there are decaffeinated options. It’s even been said some decaffeinated teas, like herbal teas, can help alleviate the effects of anxiety.  

Foods with refined sugar 

Eating foods with added sugar is another way people can experience an increase in anxiety symptoms. Refined sugar causes a quick spike in energy, but it is often followed by a crash, leaving you feeling tired and lethargic. To make matters worse, refined sugars are also known to cause mood swings. You might go from feeling on top of the world to irritable and angry in a matter of minutes. 

Fruit is an excellent alternative to refined sugars, and it provides you with essential vitamins and minerals. 


Alcohol is another culprit that can cause anxiety. Even drinking a small amount of alcohol can affect people with anxiety disorders, especially if they have been abstaining from it for a long time. Many times, people turn to alcohol as a way to cope with their anxieties and stressors. But since most forms of alcohol are depressants, they can worsen your anxiety symptoms.  

Instead of reaching for that glass of wine, grab some water or seltzer instead. If you like the taste of beer, you could also opt for non-alcoholic variants.  

Highly processed foods 

Highly processed foods are loaded with unhealthy ingredients, preservatives, and chemicals. They can cause some serious health problems that can trigger or worsen anxiety symptoms. Highly processed foods are some of the most common triggers for food sensitivities and allergies, which can lead to an increase in anxiety.  

One way you can avoid highly processed foods is by opting for more natural sources of protein and produce. You could opt for foods like fish, lean meats, nuts, or vegetables. 

Foods high in refined carbohydrates 

It’s easy to find highly processed carbs like sugary cereals, pastries, and bagels at your local grocery store. However, they are not healthy choices for people with anxiety disorders. Highly refined carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to spike and crash frequently, which can have a negative effect on mental health.  

One simple way to avoid highly refined carbohydrates is by opting for whole-grain products instead. They have more nutrients and fiber, which helps keep blood sugar levels stable. 

Greasy foods  

Greasy foods may taste good, but they can cause a lot of issues for people with anxiety disorders. Greasy foods are filled with added salt, high calories, and unhealthy fats, which are bad for your health. Greasy foods can cause nausea, acne or even trigger panic attacks in some people. 

One way to avoid greasy foods is by opting for low-fat options whenever possible. Try using nonstick cooking spray instead of butter, and use low-fat or fat-free dairy whenever possible. 

If you are looking to avoid specific foods that cause anxiety, try keeping a food journal. Write down everything you eat and drink for one week, including the times and locations. Over time, you should notice some patterns concerning which foods seem to trigger your anxiety symptoms. If you find any of these six culprits in your journal, make an effort to avoid or limit them as much as possible. 

You should try to eat a well-balanced diet full of whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. This way, you should feel more energized and balanced throughout the day.  

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