Diets high in saturated fat contribute to anxiety and depression, new research finds

Image: Diets high in saturated fat contribute to anxiety and depression, new research finds

(Natural News) Ever wondered why you feel anxious and depressed, even on a day that’s sunny and bright?

Chances are, you ate something bad for your health. Your breakfast may have contained no-nos like excess saturated fat from fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, beef fat (tallow), lard and cream, butter, cheese and other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat milk. You may have also gorged on baked gods and fried food.

A new study on adult mice shows that excess intake of saturated fat (along with too much sugar) leads to depressive behavior.

The mice were fed a high-fat/high-sucrose diet (HFD), along with either saturated or monounsaturated fat, or a control low-fat diet. Researchers assessed their behavior after 12 weeks.

Results showed a direct link between obesity and hyperleptinemia, or the presence of excess leptins — a hunger hormone — in the bloodstream. A high-fat/high-sucrose diet worsens matters by facilitating anxiety, despair, excess insulin, glucose intolerance, inflammation and other health conditions.

While saturated fats seem to open a Pandora’s Box of illnesses, the same study showed that a Mediterranean diet brings untold benefits. Mediterranean diet believers — or those who take in a lot of monounsaturated fat (found in nuts, avocado, canola oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, butter and sesame oil) have fewer mood swings, and are less prone to inflammation that leads to disease.

Another study, this time at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre(CRCHUM) and published in the journal Molecular Metabolism, supports this.

Stéphanie Fulton, a CRCHUM researcher and professor at Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Medicine found that “depressive, anxious and compulsive behaviours and metabolic changes” seen in sugar-rich, saturated fat-full food, were absent in mice fed with a diet rich in sugar and monounsaturated fat, or the kind present in olive oil.

Léa Décarie-Spain, the study’s first author and a doctoral student in Fulton, observed that mice fed a diet rich in saturated fat consumed more food, and therefore took in more calories. Naturally, they gained weight and showed signs of anxiety and metabolic problems linked to pre-diabetes.

This study doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Another study, this time on humans, shows that a Mediterranean diet low in saturated fat shields its subjects from depression. (Related: Mediterranean Diet found to slash risk of dementia by 35 percent.)

Science explains it this way:

Saturated fat and sugar create inflammation in the nucleus accumbens, that part of the brain that dictates mood and a rewarding feeling. This, in turn, leads to depression, anxiety and compulsive behavior. It also disturb metabolism.

Of course, obesity and depression trigger a chain of negative effects on physical and mental health. Obesity brings a string of problems, from passing pain to deadly coronary and hypertensive ailments. Anxiety and depression are just as bad. It can lead to something as temporary as mood swings, to be as dangerous as suicide.

Either way, these maim the body and/or the mind. The good news is they can be prevented with a diet free from excess saturated fat.

So the next time you reach out for a second helping of desert, check yourself. It may taste good but it will ruin your mood, and your entire day. Worse, bad vibes can be a virus that infect people you come in close contact with throughout the day.

Besides, it pays to be fit and feel good all the time. Who wants to start the day scowling or wearing a long face, anyway?

So stick to a healthy diet, free from all that rich, sinful food.

You’ll find it easier to smile, walk with a spring in your step, and help others feel the same way too.

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Bye and sorry for the mess! US not planning to contribute money to Iraq reconstruction

Iraq war destruction


As a primary candidate, Donald Trump championed a quasi-isolationist foreign policy. At one Republican primary debate, Trump argued that America had “done a tremendous disservice to humanity” in the Middle East.

“The people that have been killed, the people that have been wiped away – and for what?” the mogul asked. “The Middle East is totally destabilized, a total and complete mess. I wish we had the 4 trillion dollars or 5 trillion dollars. I wish it were spent right here in the United States on schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart!”

Trump still insisted that America must defend itself against attack (or, potentially, disrespect) with overwhelming force, up to and including deliberate war crimes. But his overriding foreign policy message was, nevertheless, that America should trim its imperial sails, and reallocate resources to the home front.

President Trump’s foreign policy has been decidedly different. Since taking office he has escalated American involvement in virtually every foreign conflict while calling for cuts to domestic spending and massive increases in the Pentagon’s budget. He regularly touts the necessity of a global military presence and preemptive wars with bromides like, “Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.” If the budget currently before Congress is passed, we will spend $716 billion on our military next year.

And yet, when it comes to non-military overseas spending, Trump has retained the isolationist outlook of his early campaign – calling for sweeping cuts to both the State Department and foreign aid. Which is to say: He has embraced a foreign policy that increases America’s involvement in policing the planet – while reducing the diplomatic and “soft power” tools it has for doing so. The result is a geopolitical strategy that is no more nationalist or isolationist than the one Trump inherited, but simply more violent and stupid.

Observe how the Trump doctrine is playing out in post-ISIS Iraq:

The United States does not plan to contribute any money at a conference in Kuwait next week to fund Iraq’s reconstruction drive after the war against Islamic State forces, U.S. and Western officials said, a move critics say could deal a new blow to American standing internationally…Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said his country needs up to $100 billion to fix crumbling infrastructure and cities devastated by the conflict against Islamic State.

A shortage of reconstruction funds could increase the danger of reinvigorating grievances among the minority Iraqi Sunnis against Iraq’s Shi’te-led government.

… In response to a query to the State Department about the lack of a U.S. contribution, a U.S. official pointed to the billions of dollars the U.S. has committed to financing loans and restoring basic services to Iraqi towns and cities in the immediate aftermath of fighting.

“The immediate stabilization needs remain vast, and limited U.S. government resources alone cannot meet these current and pressing needs, let alone consider supporting long-term reconstruction,” the U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The administration argues that private-sector investment, combined with aid from Saudi Arabia, should be able to meet Iraq’s long-term reconstruction needs. But Jeremy Konyndyk, former head of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, told Reuters that private capital would want “to see the risks of their investments in Iraq mitigated by U.S. government contributions.”

If Trump’s position were that America simply has no interest in expending resources on the internal affairs of Iraq, then this policy might be strategically coherent (if perhaps, morally objectionable). But that isn’t his position. This White House believes that countering both ISIS and Iranian influence are both vital national security interests for the United States. Thus, the administration had no problem spending billions upon billions of dollars fighting ISIS in Iraq – and wouldn’t hesitate to do so again, were the militant group to regain territory.

In short, President Trump is happy to spend billions on a pound of cure, but not millions on an ounce of prevention. If killing bad guys is the objective, then money is no object; if stabilizing wartorn regions through humanitarian aid is the proposition, then “limited U.S. government resources alone cannot meet these current and pressing needs.”

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