Meat and Mental Health

When I told my friends I was giving up eating meat for six weeks, they were encouraging, but also skeptical that I could abstain for that long, since most of my favorite meals are meat dishes. I’ve had one slip-up so far (I can’t say no to chili cheese nachos) but I am still going strong and show no physical signs of meat withdrawal.

A study done by Australian researchers from Deakin University shows that women who cut red meat from their diets are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety and depression than women who eat the recommended amount. The study looked at the eating habits of over 1,000 women and implies that red meat is important to mental health. No correlation was found between mental health and chicken, fish, or pork consumption.

Researchers say that a woman’s overall diet affects her mental health, and red meat should be consumed at appropriate rates and portions. In fact, this is good advice for all foods, and not just for women: everything in moderation.

When you remove something from your normal diet, it may alter certain cravings and even daily habits. I can’t say I’ve been feeling anxious or depressed, though; regardless of whether I eat meat or not, I never miss a meal.

–Blayne Jeffries

3 responses

  1. This is a perfect example of the principle that correlation does not imply causation. The finding that women who cut meat out of their diets have a higher incidence of anxiety and depression does not necessarily indicate that these women become anxious and depressed due to their lack of meat intake. It more likely indicates that anxious and depressed women are will have a greater likelihood of cutting foods out of their diet (possibly an attempt to control some aspect of their life when they feel other things are out of control).

  2. That is an interesting study. I have heard information about how read meat can affect mental health before. That’s good because I love me some meat. I consider myself a meatatarian.

  3. The reason why people that eat meat have more anxiety problems is because muscles meat are high in tryptophan and cysteine. Both these substances down regulate your metabolism. When your metabolism is slowed down your body increase adrenaline as a emergency response to speed up your metabolism. This is why people that eat a diet rich in muscles meats have more anxiety problems. To counter the toxicity of muscle meats eat more gelatin alone or eat gelatin with your muscle meats.

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