We all know that a diet filled with the healthy and "good" kinds of fats, proteins and carbs is meant to make us feel better, both physically and emotionally.
A new study from Ohio State University suggests that while all of those factors hold true typically, sometimes the benefits of good fats can still vanish if you’re too stressed out.
Jan Kiecolt-Glaser, the lead author of the study and a professor of psychiatry and psychology, fed unstressed and stressed women the same breakfast of biscuits and gravy. However, half of the meals were made mostly with saturated fats, while the other half ate an identical breakfast made primarily with monounsaturated sunflower oil.
Unstressed women who ate the saturated fat version fared worse in blood tests looking for precursors to diseases than did the sunflower oil women. However, when stressed out women ate the two breakfast versions, the women who ate the healthy fat choice didn’t reap any of the benefits.
“It’s more evidence that stress matters,” Kiecolt-Glaser told OSU.
Stress raised the levels of all four unhealthy blood markers in the sunflower oil group, but it did not have an effect on those who were already eating saturated fat.
Don’t confuse what this study suggests, though. There is no such thing as mind over calories; if you continuously consume unhealthy meals composed of bad-for-you ingredients that are high in calories, chances are you will gain weight, and probably end up feeling less well in the long run.
All this study suggests is that stress can be counteractive to living your best and most healthy lifestyle. So it’s important to find different health methods and lifestyle opportunities to minimize stress and reap the full benefits of your other healthy lifestyle choices.