There may be a link between consumption of fast food and commercial bakery goods, and depression. In almost 9,000 study participants, those who consumed the most fast food and commercial baked goods were 37% more likely to become depressed over a 6-year period than people with the lowest consumption.
Who ate the most fast food and bakery goods in this study (and therefore were at greater risk for depression)? They included people who were single, younger, less active, had overall unhealthy dietary habits, and worked more than 45 hours per week.
According to this study, the most frequently eaten unhealthy foods were hamburgers and hotdogs, pizza, croissants, doughnuts, and cakes.
If you need to eat to fast food, there are healthier options…. Grilled chicken, salads (with dressing on the side!), baked potatoes with broccoli, and fruit cups.
For baked goods and dessert, most can be made at home from scratch with less sugar and fat – as well as the addition of chopped, diced or grated fruits and vegetables to add a nutrition boost…. blueberry muffins, zucchini or carrot bread, etc.
This study included folks who were not currently diagnosed with depression or taking anti-depressants. Approximately 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression, so perhaps part of their treatment should include attention to a healthy diet with more fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, nuts, low-fat dairy, fish and poultry.
The full study report can be found in the Public Health Nutrition journal, March 2012.
Who needs to buy fast food French toast sticks when they are so easy to make at home using whole-grain bread dipped in a batter of Eggbeaters (no fat or cholesterol), skim milk and apple pie spice. YUM!! Serve with frozen berries, heated gently in a saucepan to make a delicious berry sauce.