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When we get stressed, different things happen in the body. Our heart rate and blood pressure go up, our blood vessels dilate and blood flow to the brain increases. In saying that, authors of a study at the University of Birmingham say they were able to show that fatty foods make the effects of mental stress worse. They showed consuming fatty foods, when stressed, reduced the elasticity of blood vessels for up to ninety minutes after the stressful event was over. Perhaps surprisingly, fat consumption had a negative effect on mood, both during and after the stress episode—negating the idea that fatty foods help deal with stress. Researchers say picking low-fat foods could help cope with stress more effectively and with fewer health risks.

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