Experts have found that rates of depression are rising
Estimates suggest about 150 million suffer from the disease worldwide. In fact your diet namely the evil trans fats that are known to cause an inflammatory riot in your arteries, could be part of the recent upswing in depression. These refined, bleached and deodorized oils are a manufactured form of fat which contain few nutrients (heat destroys them) and are thick with an over balance of inflammatory Omega-6's fatty acids. They upset the cell membrane environment which craves for saturated fats and Omega-3 rich fats. Just about every packaged, preserved food you eat today contains hydrogenated oils, otherwise known as trans fats. Unlike other members of the fat family saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, trans fats, or trans-fatty acids, are largely artificial fats and there seems to be a connection between these fats, and illness and depression, and obesity. Although a small amount of trans fats occur naturally in meat and dairy products, most trans fats are made by a chemical process called hydrogenation. Liquid vegetable, corn, palm kernel, cottonseed, canola oil is cooked at extreemly high tempratures and packed with hydrogen atoms and converted into a solid fat. This makes an ideal fat, for the food industry to work with because of its high melting point, its creamy, smooth texture and its reusability in deep-fat frying.
Hydrogenated, partially hydrogenated, or trans fats, extend the shelf life, and color of food. Think of buttery crackers and popcorn, margarine, pretzels, chips, crispy french fries, crunchy fish sticks, taco shells, breakfast bars, creamy frosting and melt-in-your mouth pies and pastries, and even some health food supplements. All these foods owe those qualities to trans fats. Industry once again tricked us into believing that hydrogenated fats are healthier alternative to natural saturated fats. Convincing us using stick margarine was better for you than using butter, yet numerous studies now conclude that trans fats are actually worse. True, over consumption of saturated fats may raise total and bad LDL cholesterol levels, but trans fats do the same, and they also strip levels of good (HDL) cholesterol in the blood , the kind that helps unclog arteries. Trans fats also increase triglyceride levels in the blood, adding to our risk of cardiovascular, and liver disease. So basically, the more solid the fat, the more it can clog our arteries. According to webMD, some researchers suspect that trans fats also increase blood levels of two other artery-clogging compounds, a fat protein particle called lipoprotein(a) and blood fats called triglycerides. Population studies also indicate that trans fats may raise the risk of diabetes. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston suggest that replacing trans fats in the diet with polyunsaturated fats, like olive oil, and fish oils from salmon, makeral etc. can reduce diabetes risk by as much as 40%. How much trans fat is safe? No one really knows. The prestigious Institute of Medicine reported that there isn't enough research yet to recommend a safe amount of trans fats. The FDA, while requiring manufacturers to put the amount of trans fats on nutrition labels, will not require a percent daily value (DV) for trans fat because there is not enough information at this time to establish a such a value. You should know this, the trans fat labeling requirement by the FDA is really a food warning label. It warns consumers that the food contained inside the box is truly bad for us and may, in fact, accelerate and promote the onset of degenerative disease. It's much like the warning labels on cigarettes, which tell you that smoking cigarettes can cause cancer. Except in this case, there's no disease named, but let's be honest, eating hydrogenated oil promotes cancer, birth defects, cardiovascular disease and many other diseases that ultimately kill people. Even if it doesn't kill a particular person, it can put them on prescription drugs for the rest of their life.
While total fat and saturated fat content have routinely appeared on nutrition facts labels for a number of years, the listing of trans fats is relatively new. Until their listing was made mandatory, from January 2006, we had to look for the words "partially hydrogenated" or "hydrogenated" in the list of ingredients. The nearer to the top of the list, the higher the level of trans fats. So even when the label didn't offer a trans fat listing, we could make a fair estimate of how much trans fat was lurking inside by looking at the difference between the total fat figure and the saturated and unsaturated fat figures. Obviously the new labeling requirement eliminates that guess work. Food manufacturers are simply required to state the number of grams of trans fats per serving. The government's revised Dietary Guidelines, which were published in January 2005, fell short of recommending a maximum daily intake for trans fats, even though a limit of less than 2 grams or even less than 1 gram had been floated. Instead the recommendation is to keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible. A word of warning, though, labels can say "0 grams of Trans Fat" even if partially hydrogenated fats are listed in the ingredients, so long as a serving size contains less than 0.5g of trans fats. The catch is that all those fractions of a gram add up if you eat more than a single serving. So the way these companies get around the rule is to say for instance one cookie is four servings. Pretty sneaky right? Hydrogenated oils are positively linked to obesity, and according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "Eating trans fats may cause more weight gain than with similar caloric intake of other oils, and the substance may tempt people to eat too much of the food."
The trans-fat intake in the participants was fairly low, Dr. Sanchez-Villegas says. Those in the highest intake group took in about 1.5 grams daily, and it was in that group the researchers found the 48% increased risk of depression. In the study, both good fats and bad showed what scientists call a ''dose-response'' relationship.
More consumption, more protection for olive oil and more intake, more risk for trans fatty acids, Dr. Sanchez-Villegas says. The biological changes that occur with high consumption of bad fats may explain both the heart disease and depression link, the researchers say. The ill effects of bad fats on heart disease are believed to be due to increases in LDL (bad) cholesterol and reductions in HDL (good) cholesterol. There are also inflammatory changes, and these changes have also been linked with depression, the researchers say. Inflammation may interfere with the brain's neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, and a lack of serotonin adversely affects mood. So, trans-fats or hydrogenated oil's cause inflammation in our organs and in our brains. Inflammation causes blockages in actual blood flow and neurotransmitter connections. One of the results can be depression, caused by the disruption of the normal circulatory process within the body.
The trans fatty acids in partially hydrogenated oils can cause inflammation throughout the body. This chronic inflammation can lead to autoimmune disease. There has been a steady increase in incidences of autoimmune disease in recent decades. Some experts feel that the reason is the hydrogenated oils that have been introduced to the food chain. There is also anecdotal evidence that artificially hydrogenated oils may contribute to autism. Some families have found, when they remove artificially hydrogenated oils from their autistic child's diet, some of the autistic symptoms are decreased. So carefully READ your labels.
Hydrogenated oils should just be banned, like the World Health Organization advised in 1978. It should never be allowed in the food supply. As we are all too aware of though the FDA routinely caves to the pressures from private industry and has taken absolutely no action to ban this toxic ingredient, despite the undeniable evidence of its harm. Corporations will only do the right thing after they are sufficiently convinced that doing so will be more profitable than simply ignoring the issue. Ethics has nothing to do with the decision, and people who suffer under the illusion that for-profit corporations take ethics into account in any way whatsoever are living in la-la land. In the real world, like here in the USA, corporations are willing to make money at any cost. Including your health. The easiest way to avoid the health consequences of artificially hydrogenated oils is to eat a diet rich in natural foods. Focus on eating whole organic foods with plenty of fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Make certain to get enough high quality lean protein, raised without growth hormones, antibiotics, or steroids. Ensure that you are taking in 25 to 35 percent of your daily calories from healthy fats obtained from natural sources like avocados, oily fish, olive, coconut, or grape seed oils and nuts. Good Luck...
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