Trans Fats and Aggression

Here’s another reason to stay away from those infamous trans fatty acids. According to new research, eating a diet high in trans fatty acids may be associated with negative behavior, including aggression. Trans fatty acids are often found in baked goods, fried foods and other prepared meals and snacks.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine studied the diet and behavior of 945 men and women, while also looking at other possible contributing factors such as the volunteers’ alcohol and tobacco use and their history of aggression. They found that people who ate more trans fats were more likely to demonstrate negative behaviors like aggression, irritability and impatience.

The authors of the study caution that while their findings do show a link between dietary trans fatty acids and negative behavior, they do not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. In other words, it’s not clear whether the trans fatty acids cause the bad behavior or if there is another explanation. If a cause-and-effect relationship is found, they say, this would be even more reason to recommend avoiding trans fats and not including them in foods at institutions such as schools and prisons.