Will The Happiness Diet Put A Smile On Your Face?
In their new book “The Happiness Diet,” psychiatrist Drew Ramsey and co-author fitness journalist Tyler Graham believe that by staying away from processed foods Americans wanting to lose weight can not only benefit with a slimmer body, but with an improved mind as well by consistently feeding the brain with much needed nutrients via mood-enhancing foods.
Through interviewing his patients on what they eat and from academic studies that have shown an increasing association between obesity and rapid aging of the brain, Dr. Ramsey came to the conclusion that a diet of heavily processed foods chock full of refined sugar, carbohydrates and toxins has led to an epidemic of depression from what he refers to as the “Modern American Diet”—MAD.
MAD he believes is responsible for a lot of mental difficulties such as depression that many people chronically face that can be tied to a diet that is as unhealthy for the brain as it is for the body. One example of a leading killer of good mental health and mood is the typical modern American diet consumption of up to three pounds of sugar a week.
To get on his recommended Happiness Diet, Dr. Ramsey advises people that they first have to cut out the “carbage” and avoid all artificially flavored foods including those that are labeled as being low fat or fat free, which are often filled with refined sugars to make them more palatable.
His book “The Happiness Diet” is not a typical how-to diet book; rather, a significant portion of it alerts the reader to how the food industry has helped create MAD and resulted in the rise of obesity and depression. However, it does offer numerous recommendations on what your brain needs to keep it healthy and functioning optimally.
“The good news is that the Happiness Diet is made of foods you already like,” he says, and points out that it’s important to eat a wide range of organic vegetables because some modern farming methods result in higher crop yields, but also result in produce that is less nutritious. And, he warns that it’s not just the plants you have to watch, but meat and dairy products that result from hormone and antibiotic fed livestock.
“Factory-raised meat and dairy are the top dietary source of toxins,” he says, adding that this is why he also recommends eating organic eggs and drinking organic whole milk.
Dr. Ramsey’s recommendations for what he considers the top energy boosting foods include:
• Dark chocolate
• Red beans
• Red- and blue-skinned potatoes
For improving your mood, Dr. Ramsey recommends eating:
• Wild salmon
• Cherry tomatoes
• Chili peppers
And, to improve focus and concentration he recommends eating:
• Grass-fed beef
• Organic whole milk
• Brussels sprouts
While having to pay extra for organic foods may not put a smile on your face, Dr. Ramsey points out that in the long run it’s really a cost-saving investment in your health.
“People always say eating organic is expensive, but if you consider what a MAD eater will need to spend on health care down the road, it’s really not at all,” said Ramsey. “And why wouldn’t you want to invest in your brain?”
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