Poor eating habits may result in more than just a few extra pounds, according to researchers from the universities of Navarra and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. A recent study conducted by experts from Spain discovered that unhealthy eating may have a negative effect on an individual’s mental health.
More than 12,000 people were studied over the course of six years to discover how eating patterns affected their health. None of the participants suffered from depression at the beginning of the study, but experts noted that 657 had developed the condition by the end of the research. In all of these cases, individuals that had consumed large amounts of trans-fats were 48 percent more likely to become depressed.
In contrast, study author Miguel Ángel Martínez-González and his team found that participants who indulged in healthy fats were able to improve their mental health. Polyunsaturated fats, which can be found in fish and vegetable oils, proved to lower the risk of developing depression.
Approximately 20 million Americans suffer from mood disorders every year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Leaving an illness untreated may lead an individual to resort to substance abuse to cope with the symptoms. While drug rehab centers can help addicts detoxify, addressing the mental condition early may be able to prevent substance abuse.