Frequently consuming fried food, especially fried potatoes, has been strongly associated with a higher risk of anxiety and depression, a new study published in PNAS journal stated.
The study suggested that fried foods were linked with
12 percent increased risk of anxiety
7 percent increased risk of depression
Here’s all you need to know about the study.
The Study: Conducted by researchers in China’s Hangzhou, the study was published on Monday, 24 April, titled High Fried Food Consumption Impacts Anxiety and Depression Due to Lipid Metabolism Disturbance and Neuroinflammation.
1,40,728 people participated in the study done over 11.3 years, out of which 8,294 who consumed fried food got diagnosed with anxiety, and 12,735 people with depression.
Why Though? The study suggested that acrylamide, which is a chemical that is formed while frying, is to blame here. It said,
“Chronic exposure to acrylamide dysregulates sphingolipid and phospholipid metabolism, which plays important roles in the development of anxiety and depression symptoms.”
Dr. Walter Willett, an Epidemiology and Nutrition professor at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, told CNN, “Potatoes are a concern for possible effects of mood because they can cause large surges in blood sugar and then hormonal responses to these surges."
He added, "However, these surges are partly blunted by fat, which would be provided by the fat from frying.”
What Next? The study said,
“These outcomes are expected to both epidemiologically and mechanistically open an avenue in the significance of reducing fried food consumption for mental health and provide evidence to understand acrylamide-triggered anxiety and depression.”
Another study had concluded that “poor nutrition can progress a mental health condition by lowering one's mood.”
Limitations: The study authors said that there’s no clarity if consuming fried foods led to mental health issues or if people already struggling with mental health issues were more frequently consuming fried foods.