Home » Happiness Tip: Skip the Morning Donut

Happiness Tip: Skip the Morning Donut


I’m a big fan of high-fat foods; fat tastes good, after all! And research has shown that some types of fats, like Omega-3s, can calm us and even have antidepressant effects. But other studies show that trans-fats, or partially hydrogenated oils, may make us feel aggressive, and that they can trigger inflammatory reactions that are linked to depression, heart disease and cancer. (I tried to talk about this a little bit at the end of my most recent appearance on Dr. Oz — [watch here] to see the blooper that they aired!)

Trans-fats are typically found in processed foods–particularly fried foods and packaged baked goods. Since aggression, depression, heart disease and cancer are not happiness habits, clearly what we eat affects our happiness.

Take Action: This week, make an effort to eat something high in a fat that is likely to make you feel good, such as something high in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA. DHA is found in oily fish, like trout and salmon. (If you are vegetarian, algae is the only DHA-rich vegetable source that I’m aware of.) Let that yummy smoked trout salad replace your side of french fries, chips, or (sigh) those cookies that came in a package.

Join the Discussion: Do you think trans-fat foods make you aggressive or depressed? Share your thoughts in the comments.

P.S. Need help weaning yourself from a fatty habit? Join Our Resolutions Group — Free! Over the years I’ve learned a lot of tricks for successfully keeping New Year’s resolutions. And in the last three years, the science around willpower and habits has made great advancements, which helps a lot. To share all I’ve learned, I’ve relaunched my free online course about making and keeping great New Year’s resolutions. Sign up now; it’s free for a limited time only.

Photo courtesy of mamaloco



  1. Mimi Kelly Johnson says:

    Thanks for this. Also the omega 6 oils used to extend shelf life are very bad for the heart, are linked to higher risk of a leaky gut which can set up bad inflammation cycle in the body. So watch omega 6. Just looking at trans fats is not enough.

  2. Mary Ellen says:

    I am a little bewildered though by the term “trans fat”. The processed food industry has been using it for decades. In a few nutrition books, it seemed that a few scientists even knew about trans fats back in the 1960’s, so why was anything not brought up then?

    In addition, not ALL trans fats are bad. This was a new discovery for me. There are trans fats naturally found in grass fed beef. But, I read these are actually good for you trans fats. So, whenever I discuss trans fats, there needs to be a brief discussion of the other kind that is naturally occurring as well. https://chriskresser.com/can-some-trans-fats-be-healthy

    • Mary Ellen says:

      I should have started this out with that I agree with you 100%. I purchase Costco’s salmon that is Wild caught and try to eat it once a week. My kids love tuna and salmon.

  3. Julie says:

    I usually pack a healthy lunch for my 9 year old, but when I don’t and she buys the school lunch, maybe 2x a month, I notice that she is particularly cranky in the evening. It has happened almost every time. I noticed that she does get cranky or aggressive after having packaged and processed foods. I did not realize that this connection had been researched, but it is affirming that my intuitive mother observation skills were right on.

Comments are closed.