Some of us think that just because we aren’t obese, it means we are free to get into a high-fat diet and indulge in fatty foods such as burgers, fries and soft drinks. There isn’t much of a concern, right? A new study published in the latest issue of Biological Psychiatry says otherwise, stating that there is a higher possibility of a change in health and behaviour, including an increased risk for depression when one consumes a high-fat diet, even in the absence of obesity.
A high-fat diet can cause a change in the mix of bacteria present in the gut, which is also known as gut microbiome. As you may or may not know, the human microbiome comprises trillions of microorganisms, with most residing in the intestinal tract. The research suggests that when a person consumes fatty food, this affects and alters the microbiome. Since the latter is essential for normal physiological functioning, the alterations may induce a person’s susceptibility to illness – including neuropsychiatric impairment.
“This paper suggests that high-fat diets impair brain health, in part, by disrupting the symbiotic relationship between humans and the microorganisms that occupy our gastrointestinal tracks,” said Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry.
In short, being of an acceptable weight is in no way indicative of your health status (think really skinny people who have high cholesterol). As suggested by the study, a high-fat diet can affect anybody, which agrees with past findings that found an association between numerous psychiatric conditions and gastrointestinal symptoms.