It’s not a Good Night Out™ unless it ends with a half-eaten kebab on your pillow. You wake up feeling like a mess, peel your sticky, achy body from your bed to find mystery meat and chili sauce-smothered chips arranged like a Tracey Emin piece over your mattress. Sure, the booze has dehydrated you and made you feel like death, but what if those 17 nuggets you ate at 4 AM are also contributing to your low mood?
A study published last week in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience might make you think twice about that McDonald’s Deliveroo order. As reported in the Guardian, the study found that young adults aged between 18 and 29 who consumed fast food three times a week experienced higher levels of “mental distress,” such as anxiety or depression, than those who didn’t.
*Slowly puts nugget back in box*
While fast foods with high saturated fat content were shown to be detrimental to young adults’ mental health, a lack of meat also contributed to low moods. Eighteen to 29-year-olds who consumed a low level of meat—classified as fewer than three times a week—supposedly experienced worse mental health. Sorry veggies.
This isn’t the first time eating has been linked to your mental wellbeing. A major study conducted by Spanish scientists this year found that a measurable link exists between depression and what you eat, while baking has been shown to improve crappy moods. Even just the taste of food can change how you feel—research conducted by anosmia charity Fifth Sense found that 43 percent of people suffering from loss of smell or taste experienced depression as a result.
So, next time you’re in a shitty mood, take it out on the 18-inch stuffed crust pizza, litre of Coke, and Häagen-Dazs sitting next to your bed, not your mates.