Your diet might have a powerful effect on your mental well-being

With acknowledgement to Jeff Foxworthy…

You might be eating a Western diet if you get caught in the rain and use an empty pizza box for an umbrella.

You might be eating a Western diet if you drink strawberry milk with your chicken nuggets.

You might be eating a Western diet if the phrases “pizza box” and “chicken nuggets” make you crave a beer.

A study identifies these key elements of a Western diet… Processed or fried foods, refined grains, sugary products, and beer.

For women who eat like this for a decade or more, we can add this…

You might be eating a Western diet if you’re depressed or anxious.

Researchers compared psychiatric reports to dietary details from more than 1,000 women. They found that depression and anxiety disorders were far more commonplace among women who followed a Western diet for at least 10 years.

They also found depression and anxiety to be less likely in women whose diets included more vegetables, fruit, meat, and fish.

And, of course, when we women are depressed, we are that much more likely to grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or French fries. Creating a vicious cycle that puts a whole new spin on “you are what you eat.”

“Association of Western and Traditional Diets With Depression and Anxiety in Women” American Journal of Psychiatry, Published online ahead of print 1/4/10,

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