Most trials in which people lose weight report improvements in mood. If you look better you’ll probably feel better about yourself. But, in this trial (Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:1873-1880) the positive benefit of losing weight didn’t produce the same long-term improvement in mood for those eating a low carb, high proteinProteins are large molecules consisting of chains of amino acids. Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body – they are a building block of… diet compared to a low fatThere are many different types of fats; polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, hydrogenated, saturated and trans fat. The body requires good fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) in order to…, high carbohydrateCarbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body as they can be broken down into glucose (sugar) more readily than either protein or… diet. This essential finding was also reported in trials giving people a high protein breakfast versus a high carbohydrate breakfast. Logically, one might think that high protein means more amino acidsAmino acids are commonly known as the building blocks of protein. There are 20 standard amino acids from which almost all proteins are made. Nine…, and more amino acids such as tryptophan would mean more serotoninSerotonin is a hormone found naturally in the brain and digestive tract. It is often referred to as the ‘happy hormone’ as it influences mood….. But the reverse is true. Brain levels of serotonin, and mood, go up after eating carbohydrate not protein, even when there’s no tryptophan in the food [R. Wurtman and J. Wurtman, ‘Carbohydrates and depression’, Scientific American, Vol 260(1), 1989, pp. 68–75] While this seems counter-intuitive there’s a simple reason for it. Tryptophan, the protein constituent from which we make mood-boosting serotonin, is carried from the blood into the brain by insulinInsulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. It is responsible for making the body’s cells absorb glucose (sugar) from the blood…., and insulin is only released if you eat carbohydrate. That’s one of the reasons why I advocate a Low GL Diet that includes carbohydrate in each meal, albeit slow-releasing carbohydrates. That way you get the weight loss, plus the mood boost, without the high blood sugar levels found in traditional low-fat high calorieCalories are a measure of the amount of energy in food. Knowing how many calories are in the food we eat allows us to balance… diets.
Why low carb diets aren’t good for mood
A study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that low carb diets are as good as conventional low fatThere are many different types of fats; polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, hydrogenated, saturated and trans fat. The body requires good fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) in order to…, low calorieCalories are a measure of the amount of energy in food. Knowing how many calories are in the food we eat allows us to balance… diets for mood. We need carbs to feel good.
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