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Low-fat diet

Low-Fat Dieting can Lead to Depression

Friday, May 15, 2009 by: Elizabeth Walling
Tags: low-fat diet, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) The subject of dietary fat is always one of controversy - fat is good, fat is bad. Eat this fat, not that fat. And it always seems that information is changing and new opinions contradict the old. So what is true? Most people still assume that when it comes down to it, the less fat the better. It's literally a sad misconception, since research is showing low-fat diets are behind mood problems like depression.

The effect of fat on mood is becoming a topic of interest in scientific research. A study published in The British Journal of Nutrition monitored the moods of 20 individuals who reduced their intake of fat without altering their total calorie consumption. During the first month of the study, participants consumed about 40 percent of their calories from fat. During the second month, half of the group reduced their fat consumption to 25 percent of total calories. The participants who lowered their fat intake to 25 percent showed increased hostility and depression.

These results are logical if you think about how fat is used in the body. Proper hormone regulation is dependant on a diet with adequate fat. Low-fat diets cause hormonal swings that can disrupt the balance of serotonin in the brain. Studies have shown that improper serotonin production can lead to depression. Low levels of serotonin are also connected to other mood problems like aggression and suicidal behavior.

Without enough dietary fat, the body lacks the resources it needs to produce adequate serotonin. Carbohydrates and sugar only provide temporary highs in serotonin levels. Without adequate fat and protein, levels will come crashing back down within a short period of time. The result is a cycle that slowly depletes the body of its ability to make enough serotonin to stabilize your moods and prevent depression.

This information is not meant to advocate an extremely high-fat diet. What is really being said is there needs to be a more balanced approach to eating in our society. No food group should be shunned or discarded. Fats, proteins and carbohydrates are all needed in moderation to maintain a healthy body and mind.

Remember to get your fats from a healthy, natural source. Processing is highly damaging to fats. Fast foods are definitely not a healthy way to consume fat. Most vegetable oils on grocery store shelves have been exposed to light, air and heat which turns them rancid and unhealthy. Cold-pressed, organic oils in opaque containers are the best kind.





Schwarzbein, Diana. (1999) The Schwarzbein Principle: The Truth About Losing Weight, Being Healthy and Feeling Younger.

About the author

Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:

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