Reasons for eating a healthy diet abound; from the purported feel-good benefits of chowing down on natural and nutritious foods to the potential to save money on groceries and of course, to lose weight when waist size is an issue, plenty of people are aware of the incentives for picking healthy foods. But it’s not just the case that certain items from the health food aisle can have a positive impact on overall health; picking foods that are over-processed and high in sugars and fats have a decidedly negative influence on health, and may particularly impact mental well-being. Searching for a way to underscore the importance of choosing good foods and straying from those that can be harmful, a research team from University College London in the UK has recently published work divulging the potential for fatty foods to lead to the development of depression.
The research worked with a respectable mass of participants; 3,486 people took part in the study, and had an average age of 55. The participants worked in London in various civil service capacities, and completed surveys in which they self-reported about their levels of depression and related symptoms, as well as their eating habits and food purchasing choices. The study found that those who reported eating high fat foods were more likely to also report thoughts and feelings of depression than those whose diets concentrated on a regular intake of fruits, vegetables, and fish.
Though the results have failed to cause much of a surprise among the mental health community, or among those with an interest in nutrition, they may nevertheless help bolster the available body of material in support of helping people eat their way to better mental health.
© Copyright 2009 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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