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Can Fad Dieting be Linked to Depression?

Sep 17, 2008
Many overweight people are unhappy about their size, some may even be clinically depressed. Many people who are overweight or have other eating problems can use food to cope with emotional stress. It can become an addictive pattern just like an alcoholic drinks alcohol to relieve stress. It is a vicious cycle of overeating and feeling bad about it and doing it again. There are varying degrees of this type of behavior. Some compulsive overeaters can be diagnosed with an eating disorder and need professional help.

We cannot claim a bad diet causes depression, but several studies have been linked your mood and what you eat. Some overweight people may turn to extreme fad dieting to try and lose weight quickly. Fad diets why are they bad is because the dieter is usually unsuccessful in a permanent weight loss. If you have a lot of weight to lose, extreme dieting for any length of time can cause a toll on the body. You may become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals that are related to depression.

Fad diets why are they bad is because they rob your body of vital nutrients and may contribute to the development or to worse depressive symptoms. People desperate to lose weight may feel hopeless after another failed diet. Studies have shown that depressed people often crave carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can bring about a short burst of serotonin, which is one of the eating neurotransmitters in depression. They may be consciously or subconsciously trying to self medicate their depression. The carbs they tend to choose may not be the healthiest choice. Their sudden burst of energy will can be followed by a crash.

Medications to treat clinical depression can cause weigh gain for some people and have been blamed for making it harder to lose weight. Some people may not want to go on or stay on a medication that will make them gain weight. If you are a regular exerciser you may able to curb this side effect. One study from a member of The Mental Health Foundation blames the manufacturing and production of food for changing the nutrients in the food we eat and affecting thus our brain. Some all natural dieters would concur that manufactured food affects the brain and mood.

The CEO of The Mental Health Foundation states there is no clinical evidence that diet can be your depression cure. He does state though that better nutrition can relieve some of your symptoms and help with the side effects of antidepressants such as weight gain. Some psychotropic medications used to treat depression really do cause carbohydrate cravings and may contribute to your overeating. Again, an exercise program will help alleviate this and boot your neurotransmitters at the same time.

There is no scientific empirical evidence that changing your diet will lead to your depression cure. However, there have been more and more studies connecting depression to your diet.

There is conclusive evidence of a relationship with low fish intake and a depressed mood. The oil in fish contains omega 3 fatty acids which most of us do not get enough of in our diet. Other vitamin and mineral deficiencies linked with depression are B Vitamins, Zinc, Vitamin C and Tryptophan. Tryptophan is that chemical found in Turkey that leaves us feeling sleepy and satiated after a Thanksgiving meal. There is no doubt that eating a healthy diet and exercising can help your depression symptoms. Crash dieting and poor diet can make you feel crummy.

You can talk with your Doctor or a Dietician and have tests done to evaluate if you are deficient in some nutrients. A dietician can help you plan a healthy diet for you and maybe it will help your depressive symptoms.

If however, you are seriously depressed and have thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, you need to seek professional help immediately.
About the Author
John Hubert is a researcher of Depression Cure.
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