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May 2

Surprising benefits of the keto diet for weight loss and mental health – WCVB Boston

According to a recent study in JAMA Network Open, Americans gained about 1 1/2 pounds every month during stay-at-home orders last year. At the same time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2 in 5 are struggling with mental health issues. One local researcher believes a ketogenic diet could help address both issues.Eric Rodgers was running marathons when his doctor said he was pre-diabetic. At the time, he was also taking anti-depressants."You would lose enjoyment in things. You're not looking forward to things that you used to look forward to," Rodgers said.He started doing his own research and came across the ketogenic diet. It's a very low-carb, high fat option and has been around for 100 years, first used to control drug-resistant seizures in people with epilepsy.Now, there's a growing body of research suggesting it can ease mental health disorders, as well."It's not far-fetched at all to think 'Wow, if this diet can stop seizures, maybe it could have a powerful effect for some people with psychiatric disorders as well,'" said Dr. Chris Palmer, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.He also practices at McLean Hospital in Belmont and has used the ketogenic diet for 15 years to treat patients with treatment-resistant illnesses. He said it didn't work for everyone but for some people, he saw incredible results."Some people were actually able to get off of medications and be in full remission from their illness," Palmer said.Palmer says processed foods high in fat and carbohydrates can negatively affect brain metabolism in anyone leading to stress, depression and anxiety. The ketogenic diet removes those foods. "That results in an anti-depressant, anti-anxiety effect for at least some people," Palmer said.If you're feeling anxious or stressed, Palmer suggests paying attention to what you're eating."Be more mindful. For the next two weeks try to change the diet, try to eat less processed foods, less junk food," Palmer said.Rodgers cut out those foods four years ago and has followed a keto diet since. He reversed his pre-diabetes and was able to wean off his medication. He believes it's the diet that did it."If you're not happy with your health right now you should be looking into this," Rodgers said.

According to a recent study in JAMA Network Open, Americans gained about 1 1/2 pounds every month during stay-at-home orders last year. At the same time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2 in 5 are struggling with mental health issues. One local researcher believes a ketogenic diet could help address both issues.

Eric Rodgers was running marathons when his doctor said he was pre-diabetic. At the time, he was also taking anti-depressants.

"You would lose enjoyment in things. You're not looking forward to things that you used to look forward to," Rodgers said.

He started doing his own research and came across the ketogenic diet. It's a very low-carb, high fat option and has been around for 100 years, first used to control drug-resistant seizures in people with epilepsy.

Now, there's a growing body of research suggesting it can ease mental health disorders, as well.

"It's not far-fetched at all to think 'Wow, if this diet can stop seizures, maybe it could have a powerful effect for some people with psychiatric disorders as well,'" said Dr. Chris Palmer, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

He also practices at McLean Hospital in Belmont and has used the ketogenic diet for 15 years to treat patients with treatment-resistant illnesses. He said it didn't work for everyone but for some people, he saw incredible results.

"Some people were actually able to get off of medications and be in full remission from their illness," Palmer said.

Palmer says processed foods high in fat and carbohydrates can negatively affect brain metabolism in anyone leading to stress, depression and anxiety. The ketogenic diet removes those foods.

"That results in an anti-depressant, anti-anxiety effect for at least some people," Palmer said.

If you're feeling anxious or stressed, Palmer suggests paying attention to what you're eating.

"Be more mindful. For the next two weeks try to change the diet, try to eat less processed foods, less junk food," Palmer said.

Rodgers cut out those foods four years ago and has followed a keto diet since. He reversed his pre-diabetes and was able to wean off his medication. He believes it's the diet that did it.

"If you're not happy with your health right now you should be looking into this," Rodgers said.

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Surprising benefits of the keto diet for weight loss and mental health - WCVB Boston

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