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Low-Carb Diets Offer a Mood Boost, but It Doesn't Last

Another Reason to Eat Carbs: Boost Your Mood

The majority of Fit readers call themselves carb queens, and Winter can make those carbohydrate cravings even more intense. But have no fear: scientists are finding even more reasons not to avoid this essential food group.

A recent study of more than 100 obese and overweight adults in Australia found that dieting put people in a better mood; a drop in pounds led to increased satisfaction. But for people on low-carb diets, the mood boost didn't last.

The study group was split, with half the subjects on a lowfat diet and the other half low-carbing it. Interestingly, folks in both groups lost the same amount of weight on average, about 30 pounds. But after a year, the low-carb dieters also lost the positive mood effects, while the low-fat dieters did not. Here's more from the study.

According to the writeup in the Archives of Internal Medicine:

It's not clear why the mood benefits faded for people in the low-carb group.

But the researchers suggest that the low-carbohydrate diet may have been too hard and too different from how people used to eat.

The low-carb diet may have been "so far removed" from normal eating patterns that it became a lot of work and a social burden, note the researchers.

It's also worth noting that carbohydrates provide a boost in serotonin, the feel-good chemical also delivered by vitamin D and exercise. Since research has shown that low-carbohydrate diets could interfere with the brain's memory functions, cutting carbs too much may not be the best idea. The lowfat diet in the Down Under study was just as effective, suggesting that moderation is the common denominator. Does this make you less scared of carbs?

Image Source: Getty
lil-miss-haley lil-miss-haley 7 years
I do low carb and I have for a year and a half. I stay on it because it helps my moods, in fact within the first couple of months I was able to wean myself off my anti depressents.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
There's a big difference between going on a no-carb diet and a lower-carb diet. I don't eat many refined carbs and my mood is fine. I think if you cut out carbs entirely, it would make you really crabby, but if you cut out only refined carbs, you get the best of both worlds.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
I've been on a low-carb diet for about a year, since carbs cause my blood sugar to climb too high. I can't say eating a low-carb diet ever gave me a mood boost. I was really cranky for the first few weeks. Maybe it's different if you go into it willingly & only as a temporary weight-loss measure.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
so something like the South Beach diet isn't the best mood enhancer? my girlfriend is on it with her bf and both have lost lots of weight (tho she did get swine flue during that time) and seemed to be smiles (once she recovered from being sick).
hsr0601 hsr0601 7 years
There are plenty of healthy options in food out there ! 1. Swine flu crisis might be a wake-up call against global warming, meat consumption and unclean environment. 2. It looks almost certain the historic health care bill, or renewed American dream will come to pass as the best Christmas gift ever toward the end of this year. 3. It is widely known that Obesity is epicenter of many different kinds of chronic diseases, as such, the implication of taking it under control can stretch to far more coverage for the uninsured and financial health across the spectrum. (( Costs of Preventable Chronic Disease account for around 75% of the nation’s $2.4 trillion medical care costs. U.S. health care spending is also expected to double in the next 10 years. and they are largely preventable -- 80 percent of the risk factors are behavior-related. )) Now that modern society has been automated in many ways, overnutrition tends to play a devastating role in our health, and the food that stays long in the body looks more likely to become a source where germs, bacterias, viruses and more multiply, even causing cancer and the like. 4. The loss driven by meat consumption seems to outweigh the gain from the fast food and meat industry.
sunsophia sunsophia 7 years
You need carbs to burn energy, plus you can't keep up that lifestyle and you gain the weight back plus some. Whack!
michlny michlny 7 years
I think it's important to differentiate good vs not so good carbs. Eating brown rice is beneficial, eating a slice of Wonder Bread - not so much!
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