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Nutritionist site: Food for the Brain


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This site has some interesting and common-sense suggestions for putting good things into your diet and taking bad things out to improve mood and overall health.

 

In the Depression section, there is some information about good nutrition and how eating sugar affects mood and well-being. (I'd take their "depression test" with several grains of salt, and their suggestions about serotonin are nonsense -- the serotonin imbalance theory was always a myth. Disregard the information about 5-HTP and tryptophan, if it's still there.)

 

Quotes from the site:

....

There are a number of nutritional imbalances that can make you prone to depression. These are:

 

• Essential fats –do you need more Omega 3?

• Homocysteine level – is it too high, corrected with B vitamins?

• Blood sugar balance – is yours within the healthy range?

• Chromium – are you getting enough?

• Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin

• Food intolerances – could food could be making you sad?

 

....

BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR

 

There is a direct link between mood and blood sugar balance. All carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose and your brain runs on glucose. The more uneven your blood sugar supply the more uneven your mood. In fact, our experience at the Brain Bio Centre is that poor blood sugar balance is often the single-biggest factor in mood disorders amongst the people that seek our advice.

 

Eating lots of sugar is going to give you sudden peaks and troughs in the amount of glucose in your blood; symptoms that this is going on include fatigue, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, excessive sweating (especially at night), poor concentration and forgetfulness, excessive thirst, depression and crying spells, digestive disturbances and blurred vision. Since the brain depends on an even supply of glucose it is no surprise to find that sugar has been implicated in aggressive behaviour, anxiety, and depression, and fatigue .

 

Lots of refined sugar and refined carbohydrates (meaning white bread, pasta, rice and most processed foods,) is also linked with depression because these foods not only supply very little in the way of nutrients but they also use up the mood enhancing B vitamins; turning each teaspoon of sugar into energy needs B vitamins. In fact, a study of 3,456 middle-aged civil servants, published in British Journal of Psychiatry found that those who had a diet which contained a lot of processed foods had a 58% increased risk for depression, whereas those whose diet could be described as containing more whole foods had a 26% reduced risk for depression.

 

Sugar also diverts the supply of another nutrient involved in mood – chromium. This mineral is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because insulin, which clears glucose from the blood, can’t work properly without it. There is more on chromium below.

 

The best way to keep your blood sugar level even is to eat what is called a low Glycemic Load (GL) diet and avoid, as much as you can, refined sugar and refined foods, eating instead whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and regular meals....Caffeine also has a direct effect on your blood sugar and your mood and is best kept to a minimum, as is alcohol.

 

http://www.foodforthebrain.org/content.asp?id_Content=1635

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

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The best way to keep your blood sugar level even is to eat what is called a low Glycemic Load (GL) diet and avoid, as much as you can, refined sugar and refined foods, eating instead whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and regular meals....Caffeine also has a direct effect on your blood sugar and your mood and is best kept to a minimum, as is alcohol.

 

 

Pretty much the same diet they suggest to diabetics... nothing with sugar and nothing white, like pasta or rice, unless it's whole wheat. Not easy - but doable.

 

 

Charter Member 2011

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White starchy stuff is bad for everyone, including cats. They get diabetes from the grain that's filler in cat food.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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