Fat to beat stress

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition

Long-term stresses can be dealt easily with proper nutrition and
exercise, according to a study conducted by a University nutrition
and food professor, HealthWorld reports.

Long-term stresses can be dealt easily with proper nutrition and exercise, according to a study conducted by a University nutrition and food professor, HealthWorld reports. Carolyn Berdanier, a nutrition scientist, found that long-term stress can be dealt with by slightly increasing one's fat intake. According to the report people usually experience long-term stress after the death of a loved one, a near-death experience or failure, among other things. It usually lasts for days or weeks, in contrast to short-term stress, which is caused by adrenaline rushes before bungee jumping or pre-test anxiety. Short-term stress, on average, lasts for only a few hours, Berdanier said. "Long-term stress is interpreted as injury by the body; therefore, it reacts by increasing fat as a way of increasing the amount of energy readily available,"​ she said. "Also, glucocorticoids, steroid hormones produced by the adrenaline cortex, trigger the degradation of muscle, in order to make amino acids available for repairing the body and to create the antibodies needed to fight infection,"​ Berdanier said. "To suppress this shift toward creating fat you should increase your fat intake a bit, with polyunsaturated fats. "This increase will help suppress the stress response by letting the body know fat is readily available,"​ she said. University food science and technology professor Casimir Akoh said he agreed with Berdanier's findings. However, he said he still recommends exercising. "Slightly increasing your polyunsaturated fats can help the body think that it has the energy needed to fight the stress,"​ Akoh said. "But, I definitely think that exercise is the best. Just taking a brisk walk with a friend can help one deal with the long-term stress."

Related topics: Research

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