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Comfort Food: Not Always About Feeling Blue

We all have our comfort foods like mashed potatoes, Sloppy Joes, and macaroni and cheese just to name a few favorites. Contrary to popular belief, we generally seek out these "comfort foods" when we are already comfortable. A recent study conducted by the Cornell Food and Brand Lab revealed that people were more likely to seek out comfort foods when they were in upbeat moods - 86% associated comfort food with happiness and 74% used comfort foods to reward themselves. In contrast, 39% of the subjects sought out comfort foods when they were depressed and/or lonely.

Comfort foods help us maintain positive feelings or soothe us. When we're in a bad mood, dishes like macaroni and cheese give a quick bump of euphoria since all those carbs help make serotonin the "happy brain chemical."

Many diets fail because dieters think they need to completely swear off their favorite comfort food forever. I am here to say that is just not the case. Go ahead and reward yourself just pay attention to: the portion size, the emotions behind the eating and experiment with non-food rewards.

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Join The Conversation
JBlondie JBlondie 10 years
Mmmmm, those mashed potatoes look sooooooooo good! Oh and mac n' cheese!!!! I went on a trip to Ireland and Scotland and I am a very picky eater and didn't eat anything while I was there! On my way back, I told my mom that all I wanted was a bowl of mac n' cheese!!! It was the best bowl ever! LoL
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
that picture of mashed potatoes has totally done me in. want. mashed potatoes. NOW.
jhuck jhuck 10 years
Mmm potato products! I'd say comfort food for me would be anything easily available to me here (re: Canadian). So poutine and anything Tim Horton's! Oh, and butter chicken from M&M's.
GiggleSugar GiggleSugar 10 years
Anything smothered in cheese qualifies for me as comfort food. Nachos, mac n' cheese, steak with cheese, cheese fries...
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