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Your diet shows on your waist and mood

It is well known that a diet high in fat, sugar and processed food is bad for our waistlines, but authors of The Happiness Diet say it is also making us depressed. They believe that what we eat can affect mood as much as it does weight.

health and fitness Updated: Dec 14, 2011 19:08 IST

A diet rich in ‘good’ fats, like olive oil, whole grains, vegetables and quality meat can tackle your mood as well as your waistline, a new book has claimed.

It is well known that a diet high in fat, sugar and processed food is bad for our waistlines, but authors of The Happiness Diet say it is also making us depressed. They believe that what we eat can affect mood as much as it does weight.

Drew Ramsey, a clinical psychiatrist at Columbia University, and health writer Tyler Graham say that eating the right food is “the foundation of good mental health.”

Junk foodThey point out that rates of both obesity and depression have doubled in the last decade, and blame the rise on the Standard American Diet, or the SAD Diet.

A weight-loss plan that simply cuts fat and calories is a recipe for failure, they say, and without natural mood-boosters such as magnesium, vitamin B12 and conjugated linoleic acid, we are less likely to feel happy and therefore successful.

Instead, a diet rich in ‘good’ fats, like olive oil, whole grains, vegetables and quality meat can benefit both out minds and our waistlines because, by feeling more satisfied, one will lose weight effortlessly.

“Focusing on getting skinny by eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet, fails for most people,” the Daily Mail quoted Dr Ramsey as telling Today.com.

“Your brain is made of food, and the right foods are the foundation of good mental health. You can’t feel your best if you starve the brain,” he noted.

They also counter the argument that the food they recommend is too expensive for those on a budget.

“The biggest myth out there is that eating right is expensive,” Dr Ramsey said, explaining that ordering a weekly seasonal box of produce from community-supported agriculture programmes can actually cut your weekly grocery spend.