While the basis of this study is on cancer, I would like to put it on mental illness. Chemical imbalances are the root of brain malfunctioning in mental illness and especially in eating disorders. regulating and maintaing a balanced insulin level in the blood will result in the disordered eaters ability to control their thoughts, food and action in a healthy and sane manner.

This post a Livable Low Carb explains in detail the processes and is a deifnite read for anyone interested.

An article entitled “Mental Illness Linked to Modern Diet” further helps my point in the carbohydrate metabolism and malfunction in the brain resulting in eating disorders. Note, it doesnt always have to be eating disorders. Many other disorders exist from insulin resistance, hypoglycemia, obesity, BED, diabetes…the list goes on. However, the composition of the diet should always be the core rol in ALL of treatments of such disorders.

“Let food be they medicine and they medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

Anyways, here is a clip from the article I find interesting:

In the 1930s, a dentist named Weston Price traveled round the world studying cultures still eating their traditional foods, and compared their health with those members of the same culture eating western foods. Those continuing to eat traditional diets enjoyed excellent physical and emotional health. But those who had changed to a western diet high in white flour, sugar, and canned goods suffered from a range of physical and mental health problems and were prone to infectious diseases. This huge deterioration occurred after just one generation of exposure to processed foods. His book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” is a landmark in the understanding of how food affects the mind and body.

Price found a lot of commonalities between the different traditional diets. The food was organic and high in nutrients, many times higher than our typical diet today. The diets were all high in animal fats, and none of the societies were vegetarian. Where people were unable to get enough meat or fish, they ate a lot of raw dairy products. Fermenting techniques were used, to increase the nutrient value of the food and preserve it. Grains, legumes, nuts and seeds were always soaked, sprouted or fermented to reduce harmful anti-nutrients and increase digestibility.

In contrast, our modern diet is high in sugar, refined grains, trans (processed) fats, pesticides, preservatives and additives. Processing techniques make our food less digestible, rather than more. We’ve been misinformed that nutritious and protective saturated fats are bad for our health, and so often avoid them. We suffer from nutritional deficiencies and are overloaded with toxins. Our digestive health breaks down and we start to get food intolerances. Just a few of the ways this can impact on mental health:

  • Food intolerances cause chemical imbalances in the brain, leading to brain fog, depression and many other mental or emotional problems (more on this in the next section)
  • Insufficient protein and fat contribute to lack of serotonin, and thus depression
  • Sugar and food additives cause hyperactivity in many children
  • An early symptom of Vitamin B12 deficiency is irrational anger
  • B1 and zinc deficiencies can contribute to anorexia
  • Lack of Vitamin D can contribute to insomnia

People are often stunned to discover that in many cases their debilitating mental health conditions such as chronic depression are exacerbated by foods they are consuming daily. The modern staples of wheat and sugar are two of the most common triggers. Returning to a nutrient rich diet, with a few carefully chosen supplements where needed, can transform our body chemistry, our brain chemistry and our mental and emotional health.

For Further reading this article is a good one on diet and mental health