Like stress, a poor diet is not only connected to PMS, it is social problem with serious health consequences. Each it seems, brings a news report or an article about how bad high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie American diet of fast food, processed foods, and enormous portion sizes is. This diet has blamed for an increase in chronic disease, including diabetes type 2 diabetes), heart disease, and high blood pressure. course, obesity carries its own risks, such as gallbladder depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis, sleep apnea, irregular menstrual cycles, pregnancy complications, and infertility.
According to the U.S. surgeon general, a gain of eleven to eighteen pounds doubles a person's chance of developing type 2 diabetes compared to a person who has not gained weight.
The Danger in Comfort Foods
Turning to junk food—whether it’s ice cream, pasta, chips, tubs of buttery popcorn, or mashed potatoes and gravy—is time-honored tradition to ward off stress and depression and self-manage those irritating PMS symptoms. Research shows these types of foods can reduce the effects of stress on the brain in the short-term.
When you eat these comfort foods, the sugar content (and remember, carbohydrates are metabolized as sugar) provides immediate energy and a big dose of pleasure (as serotonin floods the brain). This spike in blood sugar is followed by a quick drop that can lead to headache, dizziness, anxiety, and irritability. This roller-coaster ride in your bloodstream has long-term consequences: over time, steady dose of this “comfort” therapy can lead to stress, exhaustion, and depression, as well as obesity.
Obesity is strongly associated with PMS. A study of 874 women by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University found that obese women, defined as having a body mass index of thirty or more, had three times the risk of PMS than nonobese women.