One of the common foods we eat may negatively impact our mental health, according to a recent Chinese study published in the esteemed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) publication.
According to the research, fried foods in general—including french fries, as they are known in the US—may be detrimental to our mental health, with fried foods being associated with increased anxiety and sadness.
It’s interesting to note that young guys and younger customers, in general, were shown to be more affected.
The research team in Hangzhou, China, discovered that eating fried foods frequently, especially fried potatoes, was associated with a 12% higher risk of anxiety and a 7% higher risk of depression.
The results, according to nutritionists, are preliminary, and it is not yet apparent if fried meals were the cause of the mental health problems or whether people who were feeling the symptoms of sadness or anxiety turned to fried foods for comfort.
For more than 11.3 years, 140,728 participants were tested in the study.
A total of 8,294 incidences of anxiety and 12,735 cases of depression were discovered in individuals who consumed fried food after eliminating participants with depression diagnosed during the first two years.
Compared to “fried white meat” like fried chicken, eating fried potatoes specifically raised depression risk by 2%.
The human component of this study may prove what it claims: that the consumption of fried foods is higher.
The causative pathway, however, may just as quickly go the other way: People with anxiety or depression increasingly turn to “comfort food” to provide some semblance of relief.
He continued by saying that studies have shown that a general lack of variety in eating also lowers mental wellness.
Another study found that eating unhealthily and getting inadequate nourishment can impair mood and aggravate mental health issues.
The researchers noted that sadness and anxiety have recently increased globally, with 2020 forecasting increases of 25.6 and 27.6 percent, respectively.
According to the World Health Organization, depression affects more than 5% of adults worldwide.