What is the McDougall Diet?
The McDougall Diet
Modern Day Epidemics and Their Link to Food
Modern populations are increasingly overweight, fatigued, allergic and depressed on a fast food, omnivorous diet. The obesity problem has got so bad that the World Health Organization refer to it as 'globesity' and report that there are 200 million obese people worldwide. Depression and anxiety have become so prevalent that suicide is the top accidental death – more people in the U.S die by suicide than those who die in road traffic accidents. This may be because anxiety and depression can be caused by
Once thought of as merely psychiatric disorders, it is now known that there is often an organic cause for mental illness and distress. Depressive symptoms can be induced in animals with agents that trigger an inflammatory response. It is the brain's response to a chronic, low grade inflammation and chronic low grade activation of cell mediated immunity. In other words, in many cases, depression is an auto-immune disease and it can be caused by the foods we eat.
The Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is activated during times of stress and this activation can dysregulate adrenal and metabolic function, resulting in tiredness and weight gain. There is a saying 'you are what you eat' and that saying is literally true. If a person eats lots of processed foods and pro-inflammatory foods then they will become inflamed, anxious and possibly overweight.
Foods that cause inflammation include sugar, a 'sweet poison' that triggers the release of inflammatory cytokines, saturated fats like pizza, cheese and red meat, trans fats from oils, margarines and 'junk'snack foods like cookies and donuts, refined carbs such as white bread, white rice and pasta, crackers and french fries and chemical additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG) that has an adverse
effect on liver health and can start off a chronic inflammatory process, as well as being a deeply addictive food additive.
Essential Amino Acid Tryptophan
The essential amino acid tryptophan is converted in the brain into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates responses to vision, smell, taste, and inter-personal relationships with others. It is key to how humans perceive each other, their sexual drive and their moods. Low levels of serotonin are thought to make a person more susceptible to depression. Large molecule amino acids from meats and other high fat foods can prevent tryptophan getting through to the brain as the gate between the blood stream and the brain fluids is very small. This means that the larger molecules from meat will get through at the expense of some of the tryptophan. Less of the amino acid means less is converted to serotonin, putting the person at risk of anxiety and psychiatric disorders.
Vegans are Less Stressed
A research study published in Nutritional Neuroscience supported the theory that a plant based diet is good for our psychology when they reported that vegans had less stress and anxiety than those that ate meat and vegetables. After studying 228 omnivores, 109 vegetarians and 283 vegans, scientists found that men reported lower anxiety if they ate a vegan diet with daily fruit and vegetable intake and women reported less anxiety if they had a vegan diet and reduced their consumption of 'sweet' treats.
Depression and Food Allergy
Dr. McDougall – the founder of the McDougall Diet – suggests that some cases of depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia are actually food allergy in disguise, most commonly reactions to milk and gluten products. Researchers at John Hopkin's University, Bloomsburg School of Public Health found that people
with celiac disease are three times more likely to develop schizophrenia. Some schizophrenics have been cured by removing milk or gluten from their diet and the lead scientist estimated that 3% of cases of schizophrenia
could be reversed with a gluten free diet.
Reverse Depression Now
If you have depression or you're affected by anxiety, you may be able to
reverse it by –
– Having your doctor check for inflammatory diseases that may be
triggering your depression.
– Getting your doctor to check any medications you are taking. Some can
– Having a check of your thyroid function – undiagnosed thyroid disease
can cause mood and energy changes.
– Go for a walk at least once a day.
– Reduce or stop your caffeine and alcohol intake.
– Try the McDougall Diet – a vegan, plant-based diet that will give your
body what it needs and help you detox. Dr. McDougall has a completely free
diet program you can use to help you recover from chronic disease.
This is an article by Helen Garret