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The Carnivore Diet Can Help Your Mental Health

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Does The Carnivore Diet Help Your Mental Health? It Depends

Story by Jennifer Betts
Woman eating bacon© Brigitte Theriault/Getty Images

You've been looking for a new diet plan, and low carb is hitting your radar hard. The carb-cutting carnivore diet has piqued your interest, but what is it? This diet takes your inner carnivore to the next level by only adding meat and meat products to your plate. It is a restrictive diet that cuts out dairy, fruits, veggies, and grains. This means that you're aiming for zero carbs a day. It's similar to other carb-restrictive diets, like paleo and keto, but takes it a step further, according to 

Healthline. A well-known supporter of the carnivore diet is Shawn Baker, an orthopedic doctor. He claims that this diet can help with various ailments like depression, anxiety, and arthritis.

But there is a bit of controversy on how the carnivore diet benefits your mental health. While some applaud how the diet has helped to provide them with mental clarity and depression, it's also been noted that eating fruits and vegetables can make you happy. Looking at both sides of the argument can help you make an informed decision about whether you want to try this diet. 

Carnivore Diet Might Benefit Your Mental Health

Happy person eating pork© Ground Picture/Shutterstock

A supporter of the carnivore diet, Dr. Shawn Baker, has made some big claims about the mental benefits of the carnivore diet. Baker uses anecdotal evidence to support his assertions, but can they be backed up by science? According to Psychology Today, there is evidence that all-meat diets are effective in correcting chemical balances in the brain to benefit serious and chronic psychiatric symptoms.

Dr. Georgia Ede spoke at the CarnivoryCon 2019 about the surprising differences between plant and animal foods stating that one of the benefits of the carnivore diet is that it includes the nutrients we need in their proper form. She went on to discuss how some plant compounds can interfere with the body's absorption of essential nutrients (via YouTube).

Studies have also shown the benefits of eating meat to help depression and anxiety. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition reviewed the research of 20 studies looking at the levels of anxiety and depression in meat consumers and abstainers. The review stated that "meat consumption was associated with lower depression...and lower anxiety." The study did go on to note that the "analysis also showed that the more rigorous the study, the more positive and consistent the relation between meat consumption and better mental health."

Eating Vegetables And Fruits Can Affect Your Happiness, Too

Woman eating a vegan dish© Solstock/Getty Images

While the positive mental benefits of eating meat can't be overlooked, fruits and vegetables might also have an impact on your happiness level. Research published by the American Public Health Association demonstrated that "increased fruit and vegetable consumption was predictive of increased happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being." The study looked at food diaries from 12,385 random adults in Australia during three different years. The data was also adjusted for income and personal circumstances.

Co-author Redzo Mujcic, a health economics research fellow at the University of Queensland in Australia, was quoted in Live Science as saying, "Eating fruit and vegetables apparently boosts our happiness far more quickly than it improves human health." The article went on to note that carotenoids in vegetables have also been linked to increased optimism in some individuals. 

Additionally, 2021 research published in the Journal of Happiness Studies demonstrated that eating fruits and vegetables and exercising correlated with increased life satisfaction. The study analyzed data from the Understanding Society Database in the UK and used estimation methodology to find patterns between fruits, veggies, and exercise with overall life satisfaction. 

Since the research on eating only chicken and beef is divided, it's up to you to decide what's best for your mental health. Until we know more, it may be wise to stick with a more balanced dietary plan like the Mediterranean diet, which currently has strong evidence supporting its benefits for mental health (per Wise Mind Nutrition). The Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes whole plant foods while also allowing a moderate amount of meat and dairy, could be the best of both worlds.

Read the original article on Health Digest.


ARTICLE SOURCE: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/health-news/does-the-carnivore-diet-help-your-mental-health-it-depends/ar-AA1iDkXP

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