A studyof 8,964 Spanish adults found that frequent fast food eaters were 40% more likely to develop depression than those who avoid burgers, pizza, and similar fast foods. This comes after another study showing a positive dose/response relationship between the amount of trans fat eaten and the risk for depression.
In the same study, olive oil, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were found to have a protective effect and lower depression risk. Other studies have found similar findings. Higher consumption of processed or fried foods, refined grains, and sugary products (a “Western,” or unhealthy, dietary pattern) were associated with higher depression and anxiety in both Australian and Norwegian adults. A study performed in the United Kingdom also showed that an unhealthy diet was linked to an increased risk for self-reported depression.
If you are struggling with depression, one thing that you can do to increase your chances of improving your mood is to eat healthy and exercise. And that is a prescription that feels good to fill.
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