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Foods that make you cranky

What you eat can affect your mood, and if you’re fuelling up on certain foods more than others, they may be putting you in one bad mood.

The food-mood connection
Woman eating cake

If you’ve been in a foul mood lately, what you’re eating could be to blame — or at least contributing to your bad mood. What you eat plays a role in how you feel emotionally as well as physically, and if you’re eating poorly, you could be on a roller coaster that’s dipping you into sour, awful moods on a regular basis. How can you get off this train into crankiness? Try to limit the following types of foods and beverages in your diet.


Loads of sugar in your diet leads to a spike in your blood sugar level — hence the term “sugar high.” And what follows a high? You’ve got it — a low. Your blood sugar level comes crashing down, and you feel irritable and cranky. So ironically, the comfort food you likely reach for — like candy bars, doughnuts, cupcakes and danishes — only cause you to feel worse in the long run rather than comfort you.


Like sugar, foods made with flour can lead to a jump in your blood sugar level, followed by a crash. So that bagel with cream cheese and that junky cereal both need to be cut down from your diet. You’d be better off eating foods with protein content rather than solely carbohydrates. Protein helps to regulate feelings of hunger, so you’ll feel more calm and pleasant when your sugar levels are at an even keel.


The term “happy hour” is so misleading. Even though drinking a cocktail may temporarily lift your spirits after a long day, alcohol can make you sleepy. Plus it’s a diuretic, which means it causes your body to lose more water than it takes in, leaving your body dehydrated. And being dehydrated could be tied to making you feel irritable and possibly give you a headache.


Drinking coffee and other beverages containing caffeine can lead to higher levels of stress hormones in your bloodstream as well as to high blood pressure. Coffee is also a diuretic, so consuming it could cause the same symptoms drinking alcohol does (see above). Caffeine is a stimulant, so it can cause you to become irritable, or you may get the jitters should you not get your fix of it. Try to wean yourself off coffee or at least lower your intake to a more reasonable cup or two a day if you drink more than that.

More on mood and well-being

5 Foods to improve your mood
Best scents for optimism
Ways to beat the blues

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