There was a recent study done by researchers at James Cook University where they went to two Australian islands.
One island had fast food readily available, and the other island had no fast food outlets at all.
Out of the study group from both islands it was found that 19 people had moderate to severe depressive symptoms.
16 were from the island where they were eating fast food and 3 were from the other island.
The researchers also analyzed blood samples and found that those who were eating fast food had higher levels of omega 6. The people from the island with no fast food had higher levels of omega 3.
So what does this even mean and why is it important?
Well both omega 6 and omega 3 are important for our body, but ideally they should be at a 1:1 ratio.
Fast food and processed foods have very high levels of omega 6. If this is your primary source of food, you are naturally going to cause an imbalance of your fatty acid levels.
Traditional well balanced diets help to maintain the healthy 1:1 ratio. Unfortunately, contemporary Western diets can have a ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 as high as 20:1!
Omega 6 is a fatty acid that is associated with depression. Omega 3, on the other hand, is a fatty acid that is associated with protecting against depression.