a Wellness Education Specialist at Gundersen Health
joins us in studio today to talk about stress and
its effects on our health.
-I know a lot of us are dealing with stress, which
is no fun, but it can also be harmful to our health.
Can you tell us about that?
-Study says it can counteract beneficial effects of
a healthful diet, can you tell us about it?
-What can we do to be less stressed out?
Stress may counteract the beneficial effects of a
healthful diet, a study in Molecular Psychiatry suggests.
The study, a double-blinded randomized trial, looked
at 58 women who first ate a meal high in saturated
fats, the kind found in meat and butter.
Then, one to two weeks later, the women ate a meal
low in saturated fats.
The only difference between the meals was in the ratio
of saturated fats to unsaturated.
In all other respects - number of calories, types
of food, and amounts of fat, carbohydrate and protein
- they were identical.
Before each meal, the
women completed several well-validated
questionnaires assessing symptoms of depression over
the past week and the number of daily stressors in
the past 24 hours.
Researchers took blood samples before and after each
Among women who had low levels of stress, markers
of inflammation tended to be higher after eating the
meal containing high levels of saturated fat than
after the low saturated fat meal.
But for women who had high levels of stress, those
differences disappeared - they had high levels of
inflammation even after the meal that was low in saturated
The surprise here is that stress made the healthier-fat
meal look like the saturated-fat meal," said the lead
author, Janice K.
Kiecolt-Glaser, a professor of psychiatry at Ohio
"Stress is doing things with the metabolism that we
really didn't know about before."