Can Stress Counteract the Good Effects of Healthy Eating? – The Daily Meal

young couple people meditating yoga in lotus position at early morning on the beach

Doctors and others warn against the dangers of an unhealthy diet and promote those good-for-you foods such as fish, vegetables, and fruits as the go-to diet for good health and weight management. But,if you’re stressed, those good foods that you’re eating may actually be going to waste! Can this really happen?

Key Takeaways:

  • A new study from the journal Molecular Psychiatry found evidence that daily stress can negate the effects of healthy eating. Does that mean that a frustrating morning commute or a difficult day at work really tricks the body into thinking that kale Caesar salad is a cheesesteak?
  • The experiment looked at two types of fat: saturated fats, like the ones found in meat and dairy, which can be pro-inflammatory and lead to tissue damage in vital organs; and oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, found in vegetable oils and in poultry fat, which has the opposite effect.
  • The results of the blood tests showed that the bodies of the unstressed women reacted differently to both meals, but the blood tests of the “stressed” women showed that their bodies reacted similarly to both meals

“To determine whether stress made the body react to monounsaturated fat as if it were saturated fat, the experiment required that each woman eat two almost identical meals of eggs, turkey sausage, and biscuits and gravy, on two separate occasions, over the span of one to four weeks.”