Key to good health? A proper diet for the brainMarch 23, 2012 by Meghan Berry in Health
"(Medical Xpress) -- When a psychiatrist sets out to write a diet book, he doesn’t have a slimmer waistline in mind. Drew Ramsey, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and coauthor of The Happiness Diet (Rodale, 2011), believes good health and happiness are achieved when the brain is consistently fed all the nutrients it needs for optimal cognitive and emotional functioning.
The modern American diet—or MAD, as Ramsey calls it—fails to nourish the brain. Heavily processed foods loaded with sugar and toxins have given rise not only to America’s obesity epidemic, but also an epidemic of depression, which Ramsey contends is even more dangerous. Studies show that obese people’s brains actually age faster than those of people at a normal weight, and excess weight has been linked to dementia.
“The Happiness Diet focuses on nutrition from the brain’s perspective with a primary goal of improved brain health,” said Ramsey, 37. “While weight loss happens on this diet, the main goal is brain growth.”
Ramsey and his coauthor, Tyler Graham, a journalist who specializes in health and fitness, based their diet on nutrients they deemed the “essential elements of happiness.” They include vitamin B12, used in the production of brain cells, as well as magnesium, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, said to improve memory, counter seasonal depression and promote strong neurons. Even cholesterol, which forms a crucial protective layer around the brain, gets a nod.
Ramsey, a practicing psychiatrist on the Upper West Side, always asks his patients what they eat. He believes this is the closest thing to primary prevention in psychiatry. When people eat too few calories, they can be depressed and irritable, so when patients are willing, he helps them overhaul their diet.
“Just eating kale and salmon won’t give you bliss, but by promoting stable, positive moods, better focus and concentration, and improved energy, people will engage in their lives in ways that promote feeling their best,” Ramsey said.
Today, an average person on MAD eats three pounds of sugar every week. In order to make the switch to the Happiness Diet of organic and whole foods, Ramsey said “carbage” and “bad mood foods”—primarily sugar-laden foods, industrial fats and factory-farmed meat—must be cut. He also urges readers to steer clear of artificially flavored foods and foods labeled “low fat” and “fat free.” When fats are extracted from foods, they’re usually replaced with refined sugars, which are less satisfying and have no nutritional value. “Basically, don’t eat stuff out of a package,” he said. "
As you can see" bad food leads to bad mood ". If we constantly feel unwell ,we will not make the right choices concerning healthy foods.We will rather go for a quick fix .That is where the downward spiral towards obesity starts.