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Bad Food Choices Contribute To Poor Mental Health, Risk Of Diabetes: Study

According to the Centers for Disease Control, people with diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus) are two to three times more likely to suffer from depression than those who do not. Current treatment options include therapy, medication, or both. However, scientific understanding of the multidimensional interaction between diet, mental health, and diabetes is still in its early stages. Mason researchers sought to learn about the connection between nutrition, diabetes, and mental health.

Two literature reviews from assistant professor Raedeh Basiri show that poor nutrition plays a dual role, contributing to both the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and impacting mental health, including anxiety and depression. According to the findings, mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, and diabetes is also linked with an increased risk of developing depression and anxiety. Nutrition interventions can aid in both of these health issues.

“Our findings underscore the pivotal role of dietary choices in reducing the risks associated with both diabetes and mental health. The implications of these findings extend beyond the scientific community, as they hold promise for informing public health policies, health care practices, and dietary recommendations that can positively impact the general population, said Basiri, the lead author of the papers. “Ultimately, the research seeks to empower individuals to make informed and health-promoting dietary choices that can serve as a proactive strategy for the prevention and management of diabetes, as well as anxiety and depression,” Basiri said.

Also Read: Diabetes And Chronic Kidney Disorder: High Blood Sugar Can Damage Kidneys – Watch Out For Warning Signs

More specifically, the team’s findings provide a comprehensive view of the relationship between dietary patterns, health outcomes, and the critical role of eating behaviour in the context of Type 2 diabetes and mental health. The team found that eating foods rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy is associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Conversely, a diet with a large number of processed foods was found to have a negative effect, increasing the susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, depression, and anxiety.

Additionally, the research team found that a diet with energy-dense foods but lacking in essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, selenium, chromium, and magnesium, is associated with the exacerbation of unfavourable symptoms in both mental health and the development of Type 2 diabetes. This connection emphasizes the importance of nutrient-rich dietary choices for overall health and well-being.

“Current scientific evidence underscores the potential benefits of adopting a well-balanced dietary regimen in decreasing anxiety and depression symptoms while enhancing glycemic control in individuals with diabetes,” said Basiri. 

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