Can Your Diet Lead to Depression? - NBC New York

Can Your Diet Lead to Depression?



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    You'd think getting fit and losing weight would be among the ultimate highs.

    That's not necessarily so.

    "I'm a little depressed and sometimes have mood swings," confessed Wendy Waller of Ft. Lee, New Jersey.

    Wendy has just dropped 50 pounds. That would seem a reason for euphoria, but that's not always the case for dieters.

    "The problem we've seen is a low lying depression and a problem with mood swings," commented Dr. Louis Aronne, one of the foremost weight loss specialists in the country and an internist at New York City's Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

    Dr. Aronne says such feelings are not just the result of dealing with the ups and downs of dieting, but frequently have a metabolic cause.

    "They are not getting enough carbohydrates for example," he explained. This can directly affect the levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain which produce a feeling of well-being.

    Wendy is now trying to take off another 25-50 pounds and wants to maintain a positive outlook."You have to work at it, you really do," she acknowledged.

    Guess what for carb counters? The dieters may actually need to add back into their menus foods they thought they could do without.

    "We find if we add some carbohydrates usually at dinner time, they feel better, their mood improves," stated Aronne.

    He also advised choosing a fiber-rich carb and enjoying near the end of the dinner meal for maximum benefit.