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Interesting ... glad to know I'm not the only one thinking this...

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  • Interesting ... glad to know I'm not the only one thinking this...

    "But the bit I'm interested in - and think more people should take seriously - is the extent to which our modern day diets are messing with our brains."
    Grain Free since 2009, WP from 2005
    ~100% primal (because anything less makes me very sick)
    Goal: hike across Sweden with my grandchildren when I retire in a few years

  • #2
    Makes sense to me! I was severely depressed and anxious on the super-SAD college student diet I ate before going primal. I'd drink RedBull at midnight and stay up all night struggling to stay focused on my schoolwork, pig out on the all-you-can-eat french fries, pizza, and desserts at the Dining Hall... one day I'd be binge drinking to fit in, the next day I'd be binge eating cause I didn't fit in, I blacked out, I embarrassed myself...

    I'm so far from that now it's hard to read that paragraph and think, that was me. I fell into a deep depression and paranoia--thinking people were talking about me everywhere I went, avoiding social interaction, skipping classes to nap... Eventually I transferred to a school where I could live at home (no more dining halls--hallelujah!) and took a year off to focus on my health.

    If I run out of Fish Oil, I start feeling it within hours--my head pounds, I feel tired but I can't sleep... Inflammation is a powerful beast. It'll run you down physically and mentally before you can say "Pass the M&Ms"

    My parents wanted me to go on meds for my depression. When I refused, they stopped sympathizing with me, which hurt, but I knew my decision was right. Today, I can't say I'm always happy, but I feel much better than I used to. I feel good about the decisions I make and I find it much easier to resist temptations (I work at a buffet where I'm allowed to eat whatever I want, if I keep the portions small, yet I don't eat anything! This feat would astound my former self; she'd wonder 1) how I do it and 2) why, when all that greasy, GMO-soybean-oil-infused food tastes so delicious?)

    I definitely think more people would benefit from dietary changes rather than antidepressants. Prozac and the like are just bandaids--they don't heal the wound, just cover it up, not to mention the tendency for addiction, possibility of birth defects, side effects, lack of sufficient long-term testing attached to anti depressants. This isn't to say they don't have a place in anyone's life--I'm sure for some, the ability to take a pill and feel less bad without making any other lifestyle changes is quite nice--but we've definitely come to rely on them too much as a society.

    Thanks for posting this article; I enjoyed contemplating it!


    • #3
      This is so interesting, because I had a binge yesterday on off plan foods and I just sent my husband an email about an hour ago telling him how depressed I was feeling today, completely unmotivated and unhappy, snapping at the kids, impatient, annoyed......all this because I chose to the wrong foods for my body. I even told him "so interesting how what I eat has such a profound effect on my mood...."

      Interesting indeed. Makes me feel like a total jackwagon for doing this to myself in the first place.


      • #4
        It's interesting that this is considered news, though, isn't it? It tells you so much about our culture. "Extra, extra: what you eat matters!"


        • #5
          I think it's a tall order getting people on a mass scale to believe the fuel we put in our bodies makes all the difference ranging a whole host of health issues. It shouldn't be that way but it is because todays human eats to feel full, not to fuel the body. We've become dependent on modern medicine, pharma and science to cure us. Now I'm not bashing medicine or science...I think there are and have been terrific advances in society realted to these fields. Emergency medicine for example is light years beyond what it was a century ago and countless lives have been spared as a result. However in our day to day mundane lives very few of us are thinking about how to properly fuel our bodies. All we here can do is try to pass along our knowledge to those who want to listen making a few converts along the way hopefully.


          • #6
            I noticed when I changed my diet to Primal that my mood improved and I lost that sense of doom that eventually I was going to have an emotional blow-out and get fired was lifted. That was probably the one change for me that actually made me more excited about Primal than losing the weight.

            This summer I met a friend to go backpacking. He told me that he had recently changed his diet to one that he got from Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous. Basically they do not eat any flour (no flour from any kind of grain, but whole grains cooked whole are okay) and no sugar. They are instructed to consume at least 1/4 cup olive oil at every meal. He told me he was shocked at the personality change he had.

            Before he went on this diet, his wife had gone on the diet and had lost 130lbs and had ceased to engage in the bickering and snapping they used to do to one another. She was able to cut her anti-depressants down to the absolute minimum dose. She'd give them up altogether but she's afraid to with her super stressful job.

            He told me of how he was hiking in New Mexico and met a man who owned a bakery who said he did the same thing, went on the paleo diet or something like it, and his health improved, weight improved but best of all, he no longer needed anti-depressants or whatever he was on.

            All through this hike he and I discussed how much this simple diet change had improved our lives. It was really amazing to us. I had taken anti-depressants back in the day. I stopped taking them a few years before I went Primal, but I still ended up with permanent ringing in the ears. I know now that I never needed them to begin with. Oh well.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


            • #7
              I just had this conversation with my husband this morning! Depression and anxiety have become a thing of the past since I started eating primally a year ago. I was on anti- depressants for years, suffered post-partum depression, and often felt there was no way out of the sadness and crushing misery of life. Today I am medication-free, smiling and happily engaged in living my life to the fullest! What we eat matters more than most people realize.


              • #8
                "Alongside omega-3 fish oils, we could make similar (if less strong) arguments for a potential role of other nutrients in supporting our mood and mental health, such as zinc and folate."

                I think that right there has more to do with it. Low folate seems to be a result of low B-12, which is a result of digestive problems. I have all of those, along with depression. Interesting thing, my wife casually mentioned my gut and anger problems to her psychiatrist and her first question was, "Does he have h. pylori?"

                I think examining overall gut health would prove to be a more promising avenue of research than fatty acid balance. Who knows, fatty acid balance might simply be a confounder to the gut problem. What's that thing people who eat shitty, inflammatory, gut-damaging diets never eat? Fish.


                • #9
                  And that's not even getting into the blood sugar mood swings!

                  My wife gets cranky when her blood sugar gets low, but that doesn't happen much these days.