The real happy foods are the ones that make you feel good in the moment but also enhance your mood, energy, and physical well-being in the long run. This one simple eating strategy is the most important with respect to happiness. Think of common comfort foods like pizza, ice cream, or chips — they may give you a quick boost now but rob you of feelings of contentment later. In general, they are low-quality foods that have been scientifically engineered to taste so good that they trigger your brain’s “bliss point” and the release of some of the neurochemicals of happiness — such as dopamine — causing you to become addicted to them.
The Standard American Diet (aptly referred to as “SAD”) is filled with foods that are loaded with unhealthy ingredients and artificial chemicals that are detrimental to mental, emotional, and physical well-being. A growing body of research shows that the SAD diet increases your risk for depression, anxiety disorders, ADHDand dementia, as well as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer.
As a psychiatrist who has met with tens of thousands of patients over more than 30 years, I can tell you that having any of those issues steals your joy of life.