Study: Processed food feeds depression

Can healthy eating habits combat depression? According to recent research from the University College London it’s very possible.

Many people eat diets that are high in fat, but are comprised mainly of trans fat or saturated fat from fried or fast foods. Not good, says Dr. Martinez-Gonzalez.

“The membranes of our neurons are composed of fat, so the quality of fat that you are eating definitely has an influence on the quality of the neuron membranes, and the body’s synthesis of neurotransmitters is dependent on the vitamins you’re eating,” Martinez-Gonzalez said.

It’s important to eat fats, but choosing the right type of fats is key. In simple language, fats are essential for the utilization of vitamins that assist with proper brain function. Our brains use fatty acids from fat to create the specialized cells that help us to think and feel.

We need a balance of fats so that our diets are comprised of 20% of total fats, with only 10% of total fat coming from the saturated kind like milk, coconut oil, butter or fats that are solid at room temperature. (Read more by Lori on this topic after the article below).

LONDON (AFP) – A diet heavy in processed and fatty foods increases the risk of depression, according to British research published on Monday.

Researchers at University College London also found that a diet including plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish could help prevent the onset of depression.

They compared participants — all civil servants — who ate a diet largely based on “whole” foods with a second group who mainly ate fried food, processed meat, high-fat dairy products and sweetened desserts.

Taking into account other indicators of a healthy lifestyle such as not smoking and taking physical exercise, those who ate the whole foods had a 26 percent lower risk of depression than those who ate mainly processed foods.

People with a diet heavy in processed food had a 58 percent higher risk of depression.

The researchers put forward several explanations for the findings, which are published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Firstly, the high level of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables could have a protective effect, as previous studies have shown higher antioxidant levels to be associated with a lower risk of depression.

Secondly, eating lots of fish may protect against depression because it contains high levels of the sort of polyunsaturated fatty acids which stimulate brain activity.

And they said it was possible that a “whole food” diet protects against depression because of the combined effect of consuming nutrients from lots of different types of food, rather than the effect of one single nutrient.

The researchers concluded: “Our research suggests that healthy eating policies will generate additional benefits to health and well-being, and that improving people’s diet should be considered as a potential target for preventing depressive disorders.”

The study was carried out on 3,486 people with an average age of 55, who worked for the civil service in London.

Each participant completed a questionnaire about their eating habits, and a self-assessment for depression.

(Lori’s comments continued from top of article)…

Trans fats are the fats that have been under high heat and the molecular structure has been changed. These altered fats end up “clogging” our arteries and should be avoided.

Food is the brain’s primary link to its environment and to its healthy function at the chemical level. What you eat affects the brain chemicals that influence your mood, behavior, thought processes and emotional reactions that ultimately create the story of your life.

Fortunately, though, what you eat is within your power to control. The more you know about the food-brain connection, the more empowered you are to make dietary decisions that benefit your brain and combat depression.

Eat healthy fats and the next time someone calls you “fat head,” you can be proud!

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About admin
Passionate in her concern for people, Lori Drummond has dedicated herself to helping others gain better health through better nutrition. That's why Good Health Consulting Inc. exists. The lifelong wellness disciple knows there are no magic wands to a healthy life, but that amazing results can follow careful, committed choices. A registered, clinical dietitian and learning-hungry entreprenuer, Lori wants to share her compassionate competency with you so that you might have a more active, extended life. So much life awaits you. Start making good choices today that will benefit you and your loved ones for years. Call Lori at 786-390-3540 or write to her at LDrummond_RD@earthlink.net

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