Is Too Much Cake Bringing on the Blues?
The body requires 'good fats' to balance and maintain moods.
Unfortunately our diet is deficient in good fats but we are significantly exposed to 'bad fats'.
Bad fats, commonly known as trans fats can be found in meat and milk but the real danger lies in processed foods like fast foods, baked goods and fried foods.
In other words, all of our favourite comfort foods!
Eating too many trans fats can actually increase your risk of depression, new research has shown.
By eating a heart healthy diet including olive oil, oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds you can effectively lower the risk of depression.
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) appears to have a protective effect on depression risk.
The researchers evaluated data on 12,059 university graduates (mean age, 37.5 years; 58% female) from the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) project, an ongoing study initiated in 1999 to assess the effect of several dietary factors and lifestyle variables on chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, and depression.
Results showed that 657 new cases of depression were identified during a median follow-up time of 6.1 years.
Spanish investigators from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria found that compared with their counterparts who consumed diets low in TFAs, individuals with elevated levels of trans-fats had a 48% increased risk for depression.
The study concludes that consumption of trans-unsaturated fatty acids (TFAss or trans-fats) has been linked to a significantly increased risk for depression.
“The results were not surprising and I think the message is clear: 'try to eat healthy,'” says lead study author Almudena Snchez-Villegas.
Step away from the bakery!
Depression affects more than 150 million world wide and this is one of the few studies that links diet to the disease.
In technical terms, trans fat makes liquid polyunsaturated fatty acids into semi-solid fats – a process called partial hydrogenation. Food manufacturers use it to give cakes, pastries and biscuits a more solid consistency, and to prolong shelf life.
Trans fats can be naturally found in meat and milk but the real danger lies in processed foods like fast foods, baked goods and fried foods.
Information panels on food packages will show how much harmful fat is present in food. For example, 1g of saturated fat per 100g (or less) is a little and 3g of saturated fat (or more) is a lot.
Foods containing harmful fats also can be replaced with food containing mono- or poly-unsaturated fats.
If your diet is too high in trans fats, your cholesterol (bad cholesterol goes up and good cholesterol goes down) and chances of coronary heart disease also increase.
Trans fats have also been linked to increasing in Alzheimer s Disease, breast cancer, diabetes, obesity, liver dysfunction and infertility in women.
On the other hand, foods containing good fats have a protective effect on incidences of depression. These foods include fresh fish (deep sea oily fish), nuts, avocados, seeds and most vegetable oils like canola, peanut, sunflower, olive, sesame etc.
The results of this study are important, and I think people should be more aware that the risk factors of diet can also apply across several neurological disorders beyond depression.
This study is the evidence needed to open up new ways for complementary therapy to help people that are suffering from depression. Looking into diet and exercise as vital components of a treatment program.