A recent study in Spain has shown that eating commercial baked goods (including cupcakes, croissants and doughnuts) and fast food (think hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza) is linked to depression. Consumers of fast food were found to be 51 percent more likely to develop depression compared to those who ate little or no fast foods.
The research was published in the journal Public Health Nutrition and also showed that the more fast food someone consumed the higher the risk of depression. Study participants who ate the most commercial baked goods and fast food were less active and had poor dietary habits, including eating less fruit and vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil. They were also more likely to be single, to smoke and to work more than 45 hours per week.
The researchers concluded: ‘Although more studies are necessary, the intake of this type of food should be controlled because of its implications on both health (obesity and cardiovascular diseases) and mental well-being.’
According to a press release from the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology, depression affects 121 million people worldwide, making it one of the main global causes of disability: ‘However, little is known about the role that diet plays in developing depressive disorders.’
A healthy Mediterranean-style diet (try our 5 Mediterranean platters) has been linked to a lower risk of depression, and previous studies have suggested that group B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil can play a preventative role.