Skip to content

Eating This Popular Food Will Put You in the Worst Mood, Data Finds

Steer clear of this sweet snack if you want to feel your best.

You probably know that what you eat can have a huge impact on your mood. Considering the fact that 90% of serotonin receptors are located in the gut, it's no wonder that some gut-healthy foods can be real mood-boosters, while others can put a real damper on your day. Now, researchers have determined the number one food most likely to put you in a bad mood, and the Homer Simpsons of the world are going to be seriously disappointed.

A study commissioned by the natural food brand Kallo and conducted by market research company OnePoll, asked 2,000 adults in the United Kingdom which foods or beverages have the most positive impact on their emotions, and which have the most negative. It turns out that the single worst food for your mood, according to the poll, is donuts.

RELATED: Grocery Shortages To Expect in 2021, According to Experts

Maybe it's because we tend to eat them in the morning, with a whole day in front of us to experience the resulting sugar crash. Maybe it's the combination of simple carbs and heavy oils, two well-known gut health disruptors. Either way, if you're like most people, you're generally going to want to skip the run to Dunkin' if you want to feel your best.

Many of the other bad mood–causing foods on the list are somewhat predictable. The silver and bronze go to alcohol and soft drinks respectively, with energy drinks coming in fourth place. Most of the foods on the list beyond that are highly processed meals and snacks, full of simple carbs and saturated fats which can cause inflammation, sluggishness, indigestion, and other negative physical side effects.

When it comes to mood-improving foods and drinks, the study finds that coffee is the number one choice, with dark chocolate coming in second place, and grapes in third. For more foods that will help you live your best, happiest life, check out our 13 Mood-Boosting Snacks to Make Your Day Better.

Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest food and health news delivered straight to your inbox.

Clara Olshansky
Clara Olshansky (they/she) is a Brooklyn-based writer and comic whose web content has appeared in Food & Wine, Harper’s Magazine, Men's Health, and Reductress. Read more