Fear and Fleshiness

Fat sticks around in your bloodstream when you're uptight.

Stressed out? Forget that fat-laden comfort food and have something light. Researchers led by Catherine Stoney at Ohio State University have found that fat sticks around in your bloodstream when you're uptight. First the researchers injected calm people with triglycerides (any fat that comes from an animal or plant) and found that the fat left their bloodstreams at a rate of 3.2 percent per minute. But when the same subjects were asked to give a speech, solve a word problem, or quickly subtract two numbers, their bodies cleared a mere 2.8 percent of the fat each minute.

The study doesn't address whether fat that lingers in your bloodstream is more likely to clog your arteries. But stress, combined with a high-fat diet, has long been associated with heart disease-and dawdling fat metabolism could certainly be one reason why.