Cut Down On Trans Fats To Improve Your Mood?


Feeling like Bruce Banner on a bad day? Your diet may be the culprit.

We’ve all heard about the trouble with trans fats. Although they give food a longer shelf life (and can be tasty to boot), some trans fats have been linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, with possible connections to cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and infertility that are still being explored. But if that’s not enough to convince you to steer clear, new research has shown that eating trans fats can actually put you in a bad mood.

A study conducted at the University of California San Diego and published in PloS One asserts that trans fats may promote aggressive and irritable behavior in people that consume them. Dr. Beatrice Golomb explored the phenomenon by enlisting the help of almost 1,000 men and women. By observing their day-to-day diet and performing behavioral assessments (which measured history of aggression, conflict tactics, impatience, and irritability), researchers found that subjects who ate the most trans fats also experienced the most unpleasant mood swings.

“We found that greater trans fatty acids were significantly associated with greater aggression, and were more consistently predictive of aggression and irritability, across the measures tested, than the other known aggression predictors that were assessed,” explains Dr. Golomb. “If the association between trans fats and aggressive behavior proves to be causal, this adds further rationale to recommendations to avoid eating trans fats, or including them in foods provided at institutions like schools and prisons, since the detrimental effects of trans fats may extend beyond the person who consumes them to affect others.”

So if you’re feeling grouchy, you might try cutting down on the stuff. On the other hand, if being grouchy is your thing, snack away and enjoy this little ditty by Oscar and friend “Johnny Trash”!

Image: Hello Goodbye, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Johnny Grim’s photostream.