If you consume fast food regularly, you may be at risk for developing depression according to a recent study.
In fact, the study claims that you will be 51% more likely to develop depression if you consume fast food and baked goods. The study was published in the journal Public Health Nutrition and involved over 9000 individuals.
However, the study also noted that the many of these people also smoked, had less financial stability and exercised less. If this isn’t a recipe for poor physical, mental and emotional health, I’m not sure what is!
True, many of these issues can go hand in hand. As well, it’s important to point out that when a person is depressed, there is a greater chance they will turn to junk food. So, what’s the deal? Does fast food lead to depression?
It’s impossible to ignore all the other factors involved, but the bottom line is, yes, fast food and all foods that are devoid of important nutrients and loaded with harmful ingredients can lead to poor moods.
Whether this manifests into clinical depression or not depends on other factors, but there are some definite physiological reasons behind junk food and a poor emotional state.
Keep in mind, we are not talking about the occasional indulgence. Eating a burger and fries on occasion will not deplete your emotions or your health for that matter. It’s what we do regularly, on a daily, weekly basis that affects our health.
If you are consuming a diet high in junk and low in important nutrients, you will become deficient in important vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins and minerals are imperative for emotional health because they are important cofactors in the production of pleasure inducing neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine.
They are also necessary components for enzymes, hormones and other functions in the body.
If you become deficient in one or more vitamin or mineral, whatever you do take in or have stored will be prioritized for use in the most important functions, and production of pleasure hormones is not necessarily at the top of the list. Your moods will suffer.
As well, vitamins such as the B complex vitamins (and many others) are important for the production of cellular energy. Deficiencies in vitamins and minerals will lead to a energy depletion. You may feel sluggish or fatigued most of the time, which most definitely depletes one’s mood!
Fast food contains loads of harmful trans fats and is usually prepared with poor quality meat.
Unless you are consuming fast food from a specialty restaurant that uses organic meats, those burgers contain large amounts of arachidonic acid due to stressful conditions prior to slaughter.
Those stress hormones and the physiological responses in the cattle, chicken or pigs prior to slaughter will be transferred to your body. This too, can lead to poor moods and negative energy flow.
Emotional wellbeing involves good overall health – body, mind and soul – and because of this your moods will reflect the quality of foods you consume. So the next time you reach for junk food to solve a poor mood, you might want to reconsider!