Are the bear claws you are eating making you as grouchy as a bear? (Originally published in our local newspaper The Outpost18-24 July 2012 but still pertinent today)
Are the bear claws you are eating making you as grouchy as a bear?
Researchers at the University of California in San Diego have found a potential link between trans fat consumption and its effects on our behavior.
They found that the fats commonly used in commercial baking and frying operations can make people both aggressive and irritable. Not only are trans fats linked to increased heart disease, they also hinder the ability of omega-3 fats in reducing aggression and irritability our bodies.
Because of this link between the omega 3 fats, aggression and irritability, the researchers felt that eating more trans fats would tend to boost these types of negative behaviors.
Not being content with just feeling this was going to happen, they tested a small group of 945 adults by examining their diets and comparing the diets with a behavioral assessment tool. This group of adults self-reported any feelings of impatience, irritability along with a history of aggression.
The conclusions of the scientists was that the greater the intake of trans fats in these 945 adults, the greater was their aggression and irritability when closely examined against the measures of the behavioral assessment tool.
This was a significant association when compared with other known aggressive predictive tools frequently used as testing devices.
Another study, conducted at the University of North Carolina, compared the amount of trans fatty acids in the diet and the occurrences of a stroke amongst 87,025 post-menopausal women between the ages of 50 to 79.
They found that those who were eating an average of 6.1 grams a day had a whopping 39% greater risk of having a stroke than those who ate 2.2 grams per day.
It makes sense to look at the labels on the food and eliminate trans fats from your diet. This may be difficult if you like commercially made baked goods from the grocery store or donut shops such as the bear claws and other delights. Moreover, the French fries may contain an unhealthy amount of trans fats. Sometimes life just isn’t fair is it?