It probably doesn’t come as a big surprise that diets higher in unhealthy fats have once again been linked to depression. A Chicago Tribune article entitled, “Eating bad may make you sad,” discusses how researchers in Spain followed the diets, lifestyles and medical problems of over 12,000 people across the span of six years.
Findings: People that ate higher amounts of trans-fats (most often found in pastries, heavily processed items and fast food), showed a 48% increased risk for depression compared to those who did not eat trans fats!
Even though the study was done on a population that doesn’t traditionally eat diets known to be high in trans-fats, the connection between higher trans-fat intake and depression was noteworthy. It’s predicted that in countries where the average consumption of trans-fats is high—like the United States—the link to depression may be even greater.On the flip side of this, they found that people who consumed a lot of poly-unsaturated fats (“healthy fat” found in things like olive oil) had a lower risk of depression.
No matter which way you look at it, trans-fats get a bad mark in terms of both mental and physical health. Bad fat increases overall inflammation in the body, which the adds to the buildup of plaque that can eventually cause heart disease. It was also observed that often people with heart disease had accompanying depression as well.
Tip: Sneaky trans-fats are the same as the ingredient labeled “partially hydrogenated soybean oil.”
While these findings are no surprise, it also seems to make sense that people who eat nutritious, whole foods may feel more balanced and able to regulate emotions. What do you think?