Can diet affect our reaction to stress?
It can, and was proved in recent research at the University of Calgary in Canada.
It showed a high fat diet increased our negative reaction to stress in general, while a low fat diet produced the opposite reaction…that is, a the low fat diet reduced the negative consequences of stressful events.
This is something the health food proponents have been claiming forever, but some scientific evidence now is helping us understand just how correct eating can affect our entire life.
The University of Calgary Study
The study used two groups; one who ate a McDonald’s breakfast (42 grams of fat) and the other who ate a low fat diet of natural cereals and low-fat milk.
The groups were subjected to stress, and measured for symptoms of suffering from the consequences of that stress. The low fat group did not suffer any symptoms while the high fat group suffered measurably.
The groups were then reversed, with the McDonald’s group eating the low fat diet and the low fat group eating the high fat breakfast. The results were measured again, and like the first test, the high fat group suffered while the low fat group did not
Basis of the Low Fat Diet
There are a few guiding principles of the low fat diet. They are as follows:
• The daily consumption of food must include at least 33% of fruits and vegetables. If the vegetables are cooked, they must be lightly cooked only, such as steamed, but never boiled.
• Animal foods should not contain very much fat. Red meat can be totally avoided, and replaced with turkey and chicken (with fatty parts removed).
• The use of fats should be limited to extra virgin olive oil or similar, with as little of trans fats or hydrogenated fats allowed.
• Fried foods should be limited to oriental style stir frying, and the use of oil restricted to those listed above.
Typical Selections of Low Fat Meals
A natural cereal with low fat milk, fresh fruit, and natural products like honey give you good protection
against stress suffering (a natural reaction). Breakfast should limit severely animal products (including milk).
The natural Japanese diet of raw fish and rice, Miso soup and vegetables gives you continued protection against negative stress reactions and can keep you thin (or help you to become so)
Late Day Snack
Fruit of any kind.
The best diner would be a fresh dark green leaf salad (such as spinach or Ruccola) with tomato and other salad (raw) vegetables. A dressing of extra virgin olive oil and natural vinegar (or lemon juice) and a very limited amount of salt provides not only a healthful diner but its light so your sleep will be uninterrupted by digestive irregularities.
Follow the Guidelines
Just saying no to certain foods can bring you the anti-stress results you need. Refrain from deep fried foods (potatoes are especially fatty ), and choose the lighter fare.
The results will be your protection against stress, and this has its corollaries in helping you maintain a normal blood pressure, increased efficiency of immune system, reduced or ideal weight, and positive mental outlook…that is, you will feel better and be happier.