Can Low Fat Diets Cause Depression And Irritability?

Ever wonder why you or those around you get grumpy and depressed while dieting?

Beside feeling hungry and deprived, getting too little healthy fat may contribute to low serotonin in your brain.

The Study

A study comparing a 41 percent fat diet with a 25 percent fat diet found that subjects moods deteriorated right along with reduced fat intake.

Anger and negativity are symptoms of serotonin depletion, both emotions increase on lowfat diets.

Why is this?

In the central nervous system, serotonin plays an important role as a neurotransmitter in the modulation of anger, aggression, body temperature, mood, sleep, human sexuality, appetite and metabolism.

Fat where you need it

About two-thirds of your brain is composed of fats your brain cells require very specialized fats – the same ones that built the brains of your prehistoric ancestors and enabled them to learn and evolve at such a fast rate. These same fats are even now incorporated into the very structure of your brain, according to the Franklin Institute on Brain Research.

Increasing fat intake increases the availability of tryptophan in the brain an essential amino acid to produce serotonin, according to Julia Ross MA author of the "Mood Cure and the Diet Cure".

Shrinkage in the wrong place

By cutting out fats, rather than starving and shrinking your body, you are actually starving and shrinking your brain and since your brain is two-thirds fat, it needs a proper balance of Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) to thrive and survive.

Although your body does naturally produce many things on it's own the one thing it can not produce is EFA's, that's why this fat is called "essential" because without it, it's difficult to think, thrive and be emotionally stable.

Fatty Functions

Along with producing tryptophan, fatty acids synthesize hormones called prostaglandins, which affect everything from inflammation, blood pressure, blood clotting and other functions of the circulatory system. Certain hormones made from omega 6 fatty acids increase these conditions and those made from omega 3 fatty acids reduce them. A good balance between these two types of fats helps regulate body functions, ensure happy moods and good health.

Beware the bad fats

Just because your brain and body needs fat does not mean to go out and eat a juicy burger and large fries. It's true Americans are consuming too much fat, but it's the WRONG kind of fat and it's important to have a sufficient amount of the RIGHT kinds of fat in your diet, meaning the beneficial high quality oils, they are the building blocks of hormones and vital in the development of your nervous system to keep you happy, healthy and sane.