Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Is a Low Carb Diet a Bad Mood Diet?

An interesting study out of Australia suggests that long term use of a low carbohydrate diet may result in more common bad moods and hostility. 106 overweight and obese people were followed over a year with either a low carb diet without fat restriction (the Atkin's Diet) or a low fat diet. Both resulted in the same amount of weight loss, but those on very low carb diets were cranky more often. This makes sense since carbohydrates increase serotonin in the brain, an important neurotransmitter that affects mood. Common anti-depressant medications such as Prozac work by increasing serotonin. Fats and proteins reduce serotonin.

How you put these findings in perspective? It all leads back to a balanced diet. Whole grains, a natural source of carbohydrates, are good for you! The bottom line is that we all should eat a healthy diet and avoid excess calories that put on excess weight. Simple carbohydrates, such as sugars, cause more hunger and induce us to eat more. Complex carbohydrates, especially when mixed with protein, do not do this. Saturated fats also are not optimal foods in any large amounts.

Eating right means eating healthy foods most of the time, and not too much food. Grains, vegetables and fruits are the foundation of any healthy diet. Protein sources should be healthy, such as nuts, vegetables, fish, dairy and lean meats. Healthy fats such as vegetable oils should be eaten regularly and in moderation. Beware of any diet that seriously restricts any natural food type. You might lose weight, but having frequent bad moods is certainly not worth it!


Synaura said...

Healthy food pyramid is applicable to all age group regardless of the kind of lifestyle they practice. It is beneficial in having a healthy body system. But in today's rat race environment, most tend to ignore it. Taking food supplement is another good option to suffice our body's needs.

Anonymous said...