Some people eat when they get stressed and nervous to calm themselves down, but can certain food cause stress?

That’s what this research investigated (Gibson EL,, 1999).
Cortisol was measured in the saliva which means it was free cortisol, that’s the part of the hormone that will have an effect, since some are protein bound, and is not free to act on the tissue.

The cortisol was measured before and after a high protein (35% of total calories) meal and after a low protein(5% of total calories) meal in healthy participants.

The results showed a significant increase in cortisol after the high protein meal, but not after the low protein meal.

The increase in cortisol also correlated with poor psychological well-being.

Think of food as cell signaling compounds, they do a lot more than only provide energy.

A plant-based, vegan diet is low in protein, and this is one more reason why it makes good sense.

There has never been documented any benefits by eating more protein than we need, and research shows that we don’t need that much.


Gibson, E. L., Checkley, S., Papadopoulos, A., Poon, L., Daley, S., & Wardle, J. (1999). Increased salivary cortisol reliably induced by a protein-rich midday meal. Psychosomatic medicine61(2), 214-224.

Learn To Eat Program:

Recommendations that work. Reduce stress with the food you eat. This is not a regular diet program.

  • Category: Diet
  • Author: Didrik Sopler
  • Published: 2020-03-28
  • Comments: 0
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