Let’s Hear it for Happy Fat!!!


 

Buoy up that mood of yours by ditching the butter and spreading some of this on your breakfast bagel instead: peanut butter.

In a large 11-year study, cutting back on unhealthy fats — like those in high-fat dairy — and instead opting for healthier ones — like the unsaturated fats found in nut butters, olive oil, and avocados — reduced people’s risk for clinical depression.

Feel-Bad Fats
The fat that most significantly bumped up depression risk? Trans fats (TFAs) — ironically found in many of the comfort foods we eat to try to cheer ourselves up, like cookies, crackers, pastries, and frozen pizza. Folks who ate the most TFAs suffered an almost 50 percent jump in their risk for depression. And saturated fats, found in abundance in not only full-fat dairy but also red meats, didn’t do people’s risk for mood disorders any favors either. (Related: Check out this ultimate guide to good and bad fats.)

Happy Fats
Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) did the most to curb people’s depression risk. Seems these fats somehow help quell inflammatory markers that would otherwise mess with the production of certain feel-happy neurotransmitters, including a special mood protector called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Besides protecting neurons from death, BDNF fosters the growth of synaptic connections between neurons and keeps those connections flexible and firing away in areas of the brain that modulate mood. (Related: Here are five other foods that can help turbocharge the brain.)

Could the foods you eat make you distracted? Find out which foods might contribute to ADHD symptoms.

RealAge Benefit

Taking care of your emotional health and well-being can make your RealAge up to 16 years younger. Take the RealAge Test!

References

Dietary fat intake and the risk of depression: the SUN Project. Sanchez-Villegas, A. et al., PLoS One 2011 Jan 26;6(1):e16268.

Article source: YAHOO HEALTH, The Fat That Switches You from Sad to Happy

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