Monday, December 17, 2012

Is Your Diet Making You Mad?

We have all known for a long time eating certain foods effect your behavior.  For example, ask any school teacher who hasn't heard eating alot of sugar "makes you hyper".   Or college students who drink coffee to "stay awake" for late night studying?  My mom used to give me warm milk before bedtime to "help me sleep" because it has a relaxing effect much like after you eat turkey and all those carbs right after Thanksgiving Dinner.

Does it come to surprise foods can and do effect your mood too?  In the article Omega 3, junk food and the link between violence and what we eat reported in 2006 research study published with British and US inmates suggesting Omega 3 fats and nutritional deficiencies plays a key role in aggressive behavior. In fact, the study in the UK Aylesbury jail demonstrated 37% decrease in aggression with the addition of healthy Omega 3's fats, multivitamins and minerals. Denmark was doing similar studies at the time. Omega 3 oils are found in certain kinds of fish, nuts, seeds and nuts. Not your typical jail house food.

In a new study reported by PLOS ONE reviewing dietary data on 945 adults demonstrated a link between Trans Fats and Aggression.  Trans fats (unhealthy fats) are found in margarine, shortening, cakes, chips, french fries and processed foods. Researchers found that the more trans fats were consumed the easier it was to predict whether a person was more aggressive towards another person.

Trans fats also known as hydrogenated oil along with being one of the contributing factors to heart disease, weight gain and diabetes, are also known to inhibit the body's ability to process omega-3 oils which translates to brain function. This mechanism decreases the ability for your body to absorb those healthy Omega 3 fats impacting brain function causing increased irritability and aggression. 

Next time you get mad, angry, irritable or aggressive may be it was something you ate! 
Angry all the time? Look at your diet.
What to do? 

1. The best plan would be to load you diet up with foods you know are healthy then you will not have room for the not so healthy foods. 

2. Read food labels and look for foods with trans fats or hydrogenated oils and but it back. 

3. Buy the healthiest foods you can afford. Is organic best? Absolutely! Is it necessary? No. 
Better to eat some fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains than none. 

4. Try "Traffic Light" eating. Red foods are "bad for you" foods. Yellow foods are "sometimes" food. Green foods are "good for you" foods.

 Your partner in health,

Health Consultant
C2 Your Health LLC

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