The Happiness Diet: How a new weight-loss plan promises to tackle your mood as well as your waistline


The Happiness Diet: How a new weight-loss plan promises to tackle your mood as well as your waistline

We all know that a diet high in fat, sugar and processed food is bad for our waistlines.

But according to a new book, it is also making us depressed.

Authors of The Happiness Diet believe that what we eat can affect mood as much as it does weight.

Brain food: Authors of The Happiness Diet believe that what we eat can affect our mood as much as it does our weight

Brain food: Authors of The Happiness Diet believe that what we eat can affect our mood as much as it does our weight

Drew Ramsey, a clinical psychiatrist at Columbia University, and health writer Tyler Graham say that eating the right food is “the foundation of good mental health”.

They point out that rates of both obesity and depression have doubled in the last decade, and blame the rise on the Standard American Diet, or the SAD Diet.

“Your brain is made of food, and the right foods are the foundation of good mental health”

A weight-loss plan that simply cuts fat and calories is a recipe for failure, they say, and without natural mood-boosters such as magnesium, vitamin B12 and conjugated linoleic acid, we are less likely to feel happy and therefore successful.

Instead, a diet rich in “good” fats, like olive oil, whole grains, vegetables and quality meat can benefit both out minds and our waistlines because, by feeling more satisfied, one will lose weight effortlessly.

Dr Ramsey told Today.com: “Focusing on getting skinny by eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet, failsfor most people.

The Happiness Diet: You can

The Happiness Diet: You can”t feel your best if you starve the brain, say Tyler Graham and Drew Ramsey

“Your brain is made of food, and the right foods are the foundation of good mental health. You can”t feel your best if you starve the brain.”

They also counter the argument that the food they recommend is too expensive for those on a budget.

“The biggest myth out there is that eating right is expensive,” Dr Ramsey said, explaining that ordering a weekly seasonal box of produce from community-supported agriculture programmes can actually cut your weekly grocery spend.

But there”s nothing wrong in investing in your health if you do need to spend more, Mr Graham added.

A century ago, people spent far more on food than they do now, because they had different priorities.

“Your brain is made out of food,” he said, echoing his co-author. “What”s more important, having 200 cable channels or feeding your brain the nutrients it needs”