By Samantha Chang
The low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet is known for enhancing weight loss, but psychiatrists say it can also combat depression and bipolar disorder, Examiner reported.
“There are a lot of people out there who call themselves depressed who aren’t actually depressed,” said psychiatrist Rif El-Mallakh, a professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
“I think people confuse low energy with depression, or sugar crashes with mood swings, but they probably don’t have a mental illness. And those people may do better with dietary interventions alone.”
Dr. El-Mallakh, the author of Bipolar Depression, said several of his patients suffering from bipolar disorder found relief by following the ketogenic diet.
Undeniable Link Between Diet and Mental Health
While El-Mallakh and other psychiatrists are reticent to say diet therapy alone can combat depression or bipolar disorder, they’re convinced diet definitely impacts mood.
“[Research studying the link between mental health and diet] is a very new field,” said Michael Berk, a professor of psychiatry at the Deakin University School of Medicine in Australia. “But the results are unusually consistent, and they show a link between diet quality and mental health.”