The Top 10 Foods We Stress Eat

A couple of days ago, I asked folks on Chef at Large what they ate when emotionally stressed. That post received over 750 responses of all sorts, though a pattern was more or less apparent on going through the responses.

Our stress eating usually based on childhood conditioning and remnants of our evolutionary past. Childhood conditioning is usually about repeating patterns inculcated during our childhoods, when we were given foods to placate our childhood selves, and we continue eating the same foods when stressed, as adults. Evolutionary remnants are about our heading for sweet, salty or fatty foods, behaviour that used to be a part of our survival instincts aeons ago, and still survives within us.

Interestingly, the second most quoted response was ‘Nothing’, which was quite nice to see, as in some of us beating the urge (or not experiencing it at all) to stuff ourselves when upset, which is always a nice thing to see.

The Bottom Five

10 Butter – At the very bottom, we have butter, a food this country loves and reveres. Thankfully, in this context, it wasn’t as a food, but as part of a dish. This includes butter chicken, peanut butter, toast and butter and aloo ka paratha with butter among others.

Butter is closely followed by:

  • Pizza
  • Cheese
  • Chicken and
  • Cake

The Next Three

The usual instinct I’ve seen is to eat something, but quite a few folks prefer drinking (#4) something after an argument or other stress inducing activity. It could be a hot drink, such as tea (#3) or coffee (#5), or it could be alcoholic. Regardless, drinking as opposed to eating definitely seems to be a preference amongst a significant number of us.

The Top Two!

The second most popular refuge for the emotional eaters amongst us is… you’re right, ice cream! This could also be a social outcome of the dozens of movies where a tub of ice cream is shown as the ideal refuge for a bad mood.

The #1 food eaten in an emotional state is, and you’re right again, chocolate! But then, you already knew that, yes?

So, that’s the list. If any of you are curious about the original comments that led me to this conclusion, here it is. What’s your stress-eating go-to? Leave a comment, okay?

If you’re facing a weight problem that stress eating is partially responsible for, click here.

Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is the founder of Chef at Large, a blog that began in 2007. He enjoys cooking, writing, travelling and technology in addition to being a practising Freemason. Health and wellness is a particularly passionate focus. Sid prefers the company of food and animals to most humans, and can be reached at sid.khullar@chefatlarge.in.