Got the Blues? Eat Some “Good” Fat

Thinking about how to combat the inevitable blue feeling when summer is over? Try changing the kind of fats you eat. A recent study conducted in Spain followed more than 12,000 people for 10 years, asking their dietary habits and depression symptoms.  Researchers found that people who ate more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats were less likely to experience clinical depression than those who ingested more trans fat.  In particular, olive oil consumption was also found to lower risk of depression.

Mono- and polyunsaturated fats are generally found in plant sources; and these results are in accordance with previous research that “shopping the perimeter” of the supermarket for such items can assist with depression prevention. Interestingly, however, this study found no association between fish oil and improved mood, which is not what previous research has found.

This study, however, was conducted in Spain where the Mediterranean diet reigns supreme, and the general population is already eating a monounsaturated-fat-rich diet. This possibly skewed the results. Regardless, eating a diet rich in plant sources of fat and limited intake of trans fats is always the best policy whether you’re trying to prevent diseases of the body or mind.

Looking for ways to incorporate more olive oil in your diet, look no further:

* Dip your bread in it instead of using butter
* Stick to vinaigrettes instead of creamy dressing, most salad oils are from plant sources.
* Use olive oil to saute veggies or brush it on meats prior to grilling.

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