People eating meat are less depressed

Eating meat gives a sense of good mood. It is not just a matter of enjoying life, balanced diet and therefore good health, but also of nutritional deficiencies that can lead to depression. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition confirms that.

Studies linking vegetarian diet to a greater probability of suffering from depression are already known, and today another recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition confirms once again that people who eat meat are less depressed.

The “Invecchiare in Chianti” study (“Aging in Chianti”) analysed the bidirectional associations between the intake of different food groups and depressive symptoms in 1058 Italians aged 20 to 102 years. Evaluations carried out after 3, 6 and 9 years showed that people who eat little red meat, both fresh and processed, scored higher on depressive symptoms, showing that there are associations between what you eat and depression. Even lower intakes of fish and vegetables were associated with a higher depression score, such as the abuse of sweets, dairy products and salty snacks, while a higher intake in fresh and processed red meat was associated with reduced depressive symptoms, although further evidence is needed to establish causal associations between different food groups and depression.

Already the Bristol University study had found a higher score of depression in people who follow a vegetarian diet, with almost twice the probability, highlighting how the lack of vitamins and minerals in people who give up meat, especially of vitamin B12, can negatively influence mood and mental health. The low intake of iron and vitamin B12, important in the production of brain chemicals, the excess of omega-6 contained in vegetable oils and the high blood levels of phytoestrogens resulting from diets too rich in soy and vegetables, could be potential risk factors and even the decision to adopt a vegetarian diet can itself be a symptom of depression, according to the authors of the study, entering a dangerous vicious circle.

Meat, especially red meat, is also part of the top ten foods that give happiness, thanks to the richness of tryptophan, an essential amino acid capable of stimulating serotonin, the neurotransmitter of good mood, but also of B vitamins, vitamin D, anti-stress minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, magnesium and selenium and omega 3 fats, all useful nutrients to lift the mood and combat depression. It is therefore not difficult to understand why the results of the studies on the link between food and depression are all in agreement in showing that people who eat meat are less depressed: a good steak on the grill gives happiness even just looking at it.

The Sustainable Meat Project

The "Sustainable Meats" Project aims to identify the key topics, the state of knowledge and the most recent technical scientific trends, with the aim of showing that meat production and consumption can be sustainable, both for health and for the environment.