Food Equals Mood

      114 Comments on Food Equals Mood

During the low-carb cruise, I interviewed Dr. Ann Childers about how diet affects mood and mental health. She’s a psychiatrist who works with children and has seen a real-food diet work wonders, so I wanted to get her on camera for the upcoming book and DVD companion. One clip I can pretty much guarantee will end up in the DVD is her describing when a teacher called to ask what new wonder drug she’d prescribed to a student previously diagnosed with behavior problems.

“Bacon and eggs,” Dr. Childers answered.

“Yes, but WHAT ELSE?” demanded the teacher.

Dr. Childers also mentioned something Dr. Weston A. Price observed during his travels around the world: people eating their traditional diets weren’t just physically healthier; they were mentally healthier too. Dr. Price noted many times how cheerful and optimistic these people were, and how quickly they rebounded from life’s setbacks.

I thought about that during our return trip home from the cruise, because it was the kind of day that could easily have produced a case of acute crankipantus extremitus in kids, but didn’t in ours.

We booked the cruise closer to the deadline than we should have. When we searched for return flights on Orbitz, our options were 1) a long day of travel or 2) an extra $200 per person for a short day of travel. We elected to save the $800 and endure the long day.

How long? Well, let’s see … we left the ship around 9:00 AM and were sitting inside the Ft. Lauderdale airport shortly after 10:00 AM. Our flight didn’t leave until 3:45 PM — and that flight was to Detroit to change planes. Three hours on that flight, then a three-hour-plus layover in the Detroit airport, then an hour-and-a-half flight to Nashville. Then wait for the luggage. Then catch a shuttle to long-term parking. Then make a half-hour drive to Franklin. By the time we walked into our house, we’d been traveling for 16 hours.

And here’s what surprised me, although perhaps it shouldn’t have: the girls never got into a funk or whined about anything. They made a wisecrack or two, asking me if I couldn’t have found a longer and more roundabout way to get home, but they were laughing about it, not whining. (I told them I’d signed us up for the scenic route.)

They read, they played games on their Kindles, they commented on the view outside the airplane’s windows, they watched some of the in-flight TV offerings, they talked to us and to each other.  They laughed many times throughout the long day.  When the shuttle bus let us out in the long-term parking lot at the Nashville airport, Sara broke into a little musical ditty she’d written to memorize our row number. They were still cheerful when we finally pulled into our driveway.

They’re the daughters of two people who don’t much like whiners, so sure, heredity and upbringing both figure into how they handled themselves.  But I believe diet figured into it as well.  The long trip home was after a week of eating quality (mostly) food. During the cruise, they had bacon, sausage, fruit and eggs for breakfast – no pancakes, cereal, waffles or glasses of juice. Lots of meats, seafood and vegetables for lunches and dinners. They even ordered escargots in garlic butter several times for an appetizer.

Other than the couple of times we let them have sugar-free cookies as an indulgence, they were eating make-your-brain-happy foods all week. During our three-hour layover in the Detroit airport, we had dinner at a Texas Longhorn steakhouse. Then we sat for another two hours, waiting to board the plane to Nashville – again, with nobody complaining or getting cranky.

Now for the flipside …

Sunday was, as I’m sure you’re aware, Father’s Day. On Saturday, I went out in the 90-plus heat and high humidity and spent four hours mowing the back pastures. I was so soaked with perspiration, during one of my cooling-off breaks, Alana asked if I’d dumped a bucket of water over my head.

Hard work? Yup, especially in that heat. But after a shower and a change of clothes, I was re-energized and ready to go walk a few miles around the nearby Westhaven neighborhood, which sponsors an annual music festival called Porch Fest. (The bands play on porches. Nearly every house in Westhaven has a big front porch.)

Afterwards, we walked back to the Mexican restaurant in Westhaven for our Saturday dinner. That’s my “carb nite” meal most weeks. I eat the rice and beans that come with my fajitas, plus a few corn chips. It’s high-carb, but no wheat. I wake up Sunday mornings feeling no ill effects.

Yesterday morning was no exception. When Chareva asked what I wanted to do for Father’s Day, I replied that I wanted us to clean out the garage, sweep, and put away all the tools we’d let pile up during our big Spring Project. (Isn’t that every dad’s dream on Father’s Day?) So we did. It was 90-something and humid again, but my energy level was good.

After I showered and the girls gave me their home-made Father’s Day cards, I decided it was enough of a special occasion to head out for an indulgence meal. I put it up for a vote, and the consensus was that we’d go to Mellow Mushroom in downtown Franklin for pizzas. I haven’t had pizza since my birthday in November and probably won’t again until my next birthday, so I thought it was a fine idea.

As I often say, if you’re going to eat something you know is bad for you, at least choose a meal that’s worth it. The pizzas at Mellow Mushroom are excellent, and therefore worth it — assuming we’re talking about a very occasional indulgence, that is.

I was reminded today why I only eat wheat a couple of times per year. I slept nearly nine hours last night, but I’ve been low-energy all day. I don’t feel depressed – that would be stretching it – but I can safely call it a case of the blahs.  I drank three big mugs of coffee over the course of the morning but never felt totally awake.

Often after dinner, I run out to play a quick 18 holes of disc golf as the sun dips behind the tall trees across the highway from our property. Today the idea didn’t appeal to me.  Nothing requiring energy or exertion appealed to me.  If anything, I felt like taking an afternoon nap, although I didn’t because I had programming work to do.

In a previous post, I described how I considered myself a low-energy person back in my college days. I was also a regular wheat-eater in college. I felt today like I felt back then. Not exactly bad, but not good either. I certainly wouldn’t describe my mood today as optimistic, and if you’d told me to go push a lawnmower up and down a steep pasture for several hours in the heat and humidity, I can promise the reply wouldn’t have been cheerful.

The difference between today and my college days is that today’s low-energy feeling is temporary. I know the cause and the cure.

Good food, good mood. Not-so-good food, not-so-good mood.

Food equals mood.

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114 thoughts on “Food Equals Mood

  1. Barbara

    Wow! That could explain the low energy I’m suffering through after a 4 day conference I recently attended. I did my best to eat good food, but I wasn’t always in control of the food choices. Knowing that it is temporary is helpful.

    Reply
  2. Barbara

    Wow! That could explain the low energy I’m suffering through after a 4 day conference I recently attended. I did my best to eat good food, but I wasn’t always in control of the food choices. Knowing that it is temporary is helpful.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yeah, I think we’re more likely to call it depression when there’s no end in sight.

      Reply
  3. Ulfric Douglas

    Bah, maybe it was coincidence.
    Eating almost no wheat or sugar does make us sensitive to food effects, but I’m sure most of us have knackered feeling days where food is not the culprit.
    Onset of a cold or virus, phases of the moon 😀 Etc.
    It is good to be free of regular bloodsuger-dip-grumps though!

    Reply
  4. William Norman

    Does Mellow Mushroom offer a thin crust?… Less not-so-good food, less not-so-good mood…

    Reply
  5. Ulfric Douglas

    Bah, maybe it was coincidence.
    Eating almost no wheat or sugar does make us sensitive to food effects, but I’m sure most of us have knackered feeling days where food is not the culprit.
    Onset of a cold or virus, phases of the moon 😀 Etc.
    It is good to be free of regular bloodsuger-dip-grumps though!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I’m not seeing the connection to a post about wheat. Perhaps you do, in that tiny little mind of yours.

      Reply
  6. Linda

    Wheat not only induces the blahs in me, it also induces downright sick feelings in the form of cramping and even diarrhea within an hour after eating it! That is not a coincidence with me. I even, like a fool, decided to test it after the first bout happened. Ate a nice bowl of pasta, and was doubled over within an hour or so. Now, it is no longer worth it. As for mood, I do know that if I make myself cook and eat my way, even while cooking for the carboholics in my family, my mood is generally up. It’s definitely worth my mind and body to take the time to make the food I eat and let the carboholics eat what they want! In my case, food definitely does equal mood! Strange that I never noticed all this when I was a card carrying carboholic. It took being off high carb and wheat for a while to even notice the difference!

    Reply
  7. j

    Nothing screws up my digestive system for a few days like a dose of wheat and cheese from mcdonalds burgers…unflattering bloated belly, reflux episodes, and indigestion are common results..

    Reply
  8. Josh

    Thankfully,no don’t have the serious problems other do when I consume small amounts of wheat products. OTOH, overconsumption of carbs does provide that insulin spoke that results in drowsy, low energy behavior. But, if I limit my carbs to real food in modest amounts, the negative effects are absent. So, tonight it’s a home made pizza with fresh ground flour, quality cheese, home made pizza sauce, and fresh veggies and a grass fed beef sausage topping.

    No soy products anywhere. The stuff makes me sick.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’m not seeing the connection to a post about wheat. Perhaps you do, in that tiny little mind of yours.

      Reply
      1. ZitOnYourButt

        I’m sorry to hear of your posterior skin troubles. Hope that clears up soon. Could it be a dietary issue? No, seriously, it’s hilarious that you changed my username from ZitOnYourButt to ZitOnYourButt. But what I really want to know is your position on things like the Confederate flag. I know that a staunch Independent voter like you is generally obsessed with things like government interference.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I change your username because the one you choose for yourself is far too self-flattering for a mental midget. I’ve explained that before, but since you’re a mental midget, you forgot. It’s understandable.

          Reply
  9. tony

    One great lesson I’ve learned from you is that even if you go off low carb one meal, or two last weekend, you always get back on track right away.

    I used to have an all or nothing mentality where I would say, “oh I blew it, I might as well gobble up all forbidden food in sight and start the diet next Monday.” This made it difficult for me to obtain consistent results. But now I copy you with excellent results.

    Your diet trick to get back on track right away, is priceless.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I do a high-carb meal on Saturdays by design. It’s an idea promoted both in the Carb Nite book and in Tim Ferriss’ book “The 4-Hour Body.” The theory is that one high-carb night per week has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, metabolic rate and leptin levels.

      The pizza with a wheat crust is another story. That’s a big ol’ cheat, pure and simple, with no positive effects. But yes, I pretty much always get back on track after one big ol’ cheat.

      I should point out that I don’t recommend the same strategy for everyone. Some people can’t eat the one cheat meal without triggering a binge that could last for days or weeks, and it’s best they recognize that.

      Reply
  10. Linda

    Wheat not only induces the blahs in me, it also induces downright sick feelings in the form of cramping and even diarrhea within an hour after eating it! That is not a coincidence with me. I even, like a fool, decided to test it after the first bout happened. Ate a nice bowl of pasta, and was doubled over within an hour or so. Now, it is no longer worth it. As for mood, I do know that if I make myself cook and eat my way, even while cooking for the carboholics in my family, my mood is generally up. It’s definitely worth my mind and body to take the time to make the food I eat and let the carboholics eat what they want! In my case, food definitely does equal mood! Strange that I never noticed all this when I was a card carrying carboholic. It took being off high carb and wheat for a while to even notice the difference!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yikes. I’d say even the occasional indulgence would be a very bad idea in your case.

      Reply
  11. Boundless

    re: … plus a few corn chips. It’s high-carb, but no wheat.

    You can’t assume that “no wheat” part, actually. Wheat flour is often added to chip mixes to make the chips less brittle,. There’s also the high risk of wheat cross-contamination from the fry oil if cooked in the restaurant. Anyone who is celiac or acutely non-celiac wheat-sensitive has probably figured these out already.

    I’ve ditched corn entirely, and my advice to anyone still consuming corn products is to stick to organic non-GMO and only where an Ingredients list is provided. Chipotle Grill might be your best bet, as they provide all but the organic part, although being non-GMO, and subject to their strict vendor control, odds are high that it’s effectively organic, perhaps more reliably than being USDA Organic.

    The hazards from generic corn chips include 2-to-all of:
    • high glycemic (already covered by Tom);
    • zein protein (any corn – likely gliadin mimic);
    • wheat added to the corn flour for ductility (long rap sheet);
    • glyphosate uptake (due to RoundUpReady GMO corn – multiple gut hazards);
    • Bt toxin (due to Bt GMO corn – gut biome hazard);
    • “lime” (aka quicklime, not lime juice) from powdered limestone;
    • food coloring; and/or,
    • industrial omega 6 oils, either as ingredients and/or used for frying, which are inflammatory, wheat cross-contaminated, hydrogenated, oxidized, perhaps rancid.

    Any salt present is perhaps the only safe ingredient.

    I’m still waiting for a decent low-carb organic baked chip to hit the market that doesn’t rely on industrial seed oils. Not quite there yet, but recent attempts are looking more promising.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      The owner of the restaurant is frequently there. We’ve told him we don’t eat wheat, and he assured us the corn chips and corn tortillas are wheat free. That doesn’t mean the corn chips are health food, of course.

      Reply
      1. Boundless

        re: … he assured us the corn chips and corn tortillas are wheat free. That doesn’t mean the corn chips are health food, of course.

        Compared to Doritos, they’re a heck of lot healthier.

        Modern food is a disaster, and it’s essentially impossible to avoid everything that is suspect. The trick is to figure out a ranking of the benefits and hazards, seek the benefits and avoid the top hazards. People are getting fabulous results just by nailing the top ten issues.

        It’s going to be a very long time before we know the full effects of all the stuff I listed for corn chips. In that enlightened future, ethical trials may not even be possible for some things, like glyphosate. Unrelated serious problems in science need to be fixed first.
        http://www.drugawareness.org/editor-of-lancet-medical-research-is-unreliable-at-best-or-completely-fraudulent/

        Reply
  12. Kim

    Ugh, what you say is so true of my experience with wheat. I just feel so off when I eat it. Thanks for the reminder of why we should avoid it, especially in this already draining heat of summer. It sneaks in so easily. A beer here, a bowl of soup there. Dern that wheat!

    Reply
  13. j

    Nothing screws up my digestive system for a few days like a dose of wheat and cheese from mcdonalds burgers…unflattering bloated belly, reflux episodes, and indigestion are common results..

    Reply
  14. Josh

    Thankfully,no don’t have the serious problems other do when I consume small amounts of wheat products. OTOH, overconsumption of carbs does provide that insulin spoke that results in drowsy, low energy behavior. But, if I limit my carbs to real food in modest amounts, the negative effects are absent. So, tonight it’s a home made pizza with fresh ground flour, quality cheese, home made pizza sauce, and fresh veggies and a grass fed beef sausage topping.

    No soy products anywhere. The stuff makes me sick.

    Reply
  15. tony

    One great lesson I’ve learned from you is that even if you go off low carb one meal, or two last weekend, you always get back on track right away.

    I used to have an all or nothing mentality where I would say, “oh I blew it, I might as well gobble up all forbidden food in sight and start the diet next Monday.” This made it difficult for me to obtain consistent results. But now I copy you with excellent results.

    Your diet trick to get back on track right away, is priceless.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I do a high-carb meal on Saturdays by design. It’s an idea promoted both in the Carb Nite book and in Tim Ferriss’ book “The 4-Hour Body.” The theory is that one high-carb night per week has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, metabolic rate and leptin levels.

      The pizza with a wheat crust is another story. That’s a big ol’ cheat, pure and simple, with no positive effects. But yes, I pretty much always get back on track after one big ol’ cheat.

      I should point out that I don’t recommend the same strategy for everyone. Some people can’t eat the one cheat meal without triggering a binge that could last for days or weeks, and it’s best they recognize that.

      Reply
  16. Boundless

    re: … plus a few corn chips. It’s high-carb, but no wheat.

    You can’t assume that “no wheat” part, actually. Wheat flour is often added to chip mixes to make the chips less brittle,. There’s also the high risk of wheat cross-contamination from the fry oil if cooked in the restaurant. Anyone who is celiac or acutely non-celiac wheat-sensitive has probably figured these out already.

    I’ve ditched corn entirely, and my advice to anyone still consuming corn products is to stick to organic non-GMO and only where an Ingredients list is provided. Chipotle Grill might be your best bet, as they provide all but the organic part, although being non-GMO, and subject to their strict vendor control, odds are high that it’s effectively organic, perhaps more reliably than being USDA Organic.

    The hazards from generic corn chips include 2-to-all of:
    • high glycemic (already covered by Tom);
    • zein protein (any corn – likely gliadin mimic);
    • wheat added to the corn flour for ductility (long rap sheet);
    • glyphosate uptake (due to RoundUpReady GMO corn – multiple gut hazards);
    • Bt toxin (due to Bt GMO corn – gut biome hazard);
    • “lime” (aka quicklime, not lime juice) from powdered limestone;
    • food coloring; and/or,
    • industrial omega 6 oils, either as ingredients and/or used for frying, which are inflammatory, wheat cross-contaminated, hydrogenated, oxidized, perhaps rancid.

    Any salt present is perhaps the only safe ingredient.

    I’m still waiting for a decent low-carb organic baked chip to hit the market that doesn’t rely on industrial seed oils. Not quite there yet, but recent attempts are looking more promising.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The owner of the restaurant is frequently there. We’ve told him we don’t eat wheat, and he assured us the corn chips and corn tortillas are wheat free. That doesn’t mean the corn chips are health food, of course.

      Reply
      1. Boundless

        re: … he assured us the corn chips and corn tortillas are wheat free. That doesn’t mean the corn chips are health food, of course.

        Compared to Doritos, they’re a heck of lot healthier.

        Modern food is a disaster, and it’s essentially impossible to avoid everything that is suspect. The trick is to figure out a ranking of the benefits and hazards, seek the benefits and avoid the top hazards. People are getting fabulous results just by nailing the top ten issues.

        It’s going to be a very long time before we know the full effects of all the stuff I listed for corn chips. In that enlightened future, ethical trials may not even be possible for some things, like glyphosate. Unrelated serious problems in science need to be fixed first.
        http://www.drugawareness.org/editor-of-lancet-medical-research-is-unreliable-at-best-or-completely-fraudulent/

        Reply
  17. Kim

    Ugh, what you say is so true of my experience with wheat. I just feel so off when I eat it. Thanks for the reminder of why we should avoid it, especially in this already draining heat of summer. It sneaks in so easily. A beer here, a bowl of soup there. Dern that wheat!

    Reply
  18. Nads

    After four years of sugar free or low carb I’ve decided I want to feel good all the time. I do have one or two days a week of higher carb, but never wheat or sugar now. No blahs. Life is too short for them!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      The source of the carbs absolutely makes a big difference, at least in my case. The “carb nite” meal with rice and beans doesn’t bother me at all. I feel fine the next day. But if I carb out on wheat, I feel low-energy and foggy the next day.

      Reply
      1. Nowhereman10

        Just out of curiosity, have you ever considered experimenting with ancient wheat varieties, such as einkorn and emmer?

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton

          I suspect those grains are not as bad, but still not good. Humans shrunk and developed bad teeth after ancient grains entered the diet.

          Reply
  19. Rae Ford

    I couldn’t agree more with food = mood. While I’m on a low-carb diet it usually works out to most of my calories coming from animal fats like those found in salmon, beef, and dairy. Those fats are very beneficial to brain function but I also had improvements in health that affect mood as well. One of the first things I noticed after switching from my regular diet was how much I felt better physically. My knees didn’t protest at all when I went up stairs despite being overweight, I slept better, and I had energy. This was all within the first week on going low-carb. I noticed soon after that how much happier I was as a result of no longer living with those issues (also my memory and mental acuity improved noticeably.)

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      I’ve experienced the same positive effects — consistently good mood, far fewer aches and pains — and also noticed how much more quickly I recover from physical exertion. I can go wear myself out doing heavy-duty work around the land, and by the next day I’m ready to do it again.

      Reply
  20. Nads

    After four years of sugar free or low carb I’ve decided I want to feel good all the time. I do have one or two days a week of higher carb, but never wheat or sugar now. No blahs. Life is too short for them!

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      The source of the carbs absolutely makes a big difference, at least in my case. The “carb nite” meal with rice and beans doesn’t bother me at all. I feel fine the next day. But if I carb out on wheat, I feel low-energy and foggy the next day.

      Reply
      1. Nowhereman10

        Just out of curiosity, have you ever considered experimenting with ancient wheat varieties, such as einkorn and emmer?

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I suspect those grains are not as bad, but still not good. Humans shrunk and developed bad teeth after ancient grains entered the diet.

          Reply
  21. Walter Bushell

    Bacon and eggs (Hold the toast, please) is perhaps the first choice for treating fatty liver disease.

    Choline and saturated fat both help the liver rid itself of fat.

    The French have a saying, “Is life worth living? It depends on the liver.”. It’s evident that if the body’s master chemist is malfunctioning
    the rest of the body’s function is going to take a hit. Lack of clarity of mind and “bad character” are likely results. “Bad character” like you cat on a high carb (for cats) diet, he was probably lethargic too, what with the metabolic banker partitioning more of the carbs to storage.

    They were perhaps talking about fatty liver disease as a major health problem, but we Americans have made non alcoholic fatty liver disease a major heath problem, and are exporting it world wide as fast as we can. Selling cheaply produced high carb products in proprietary forms at monopolistic prices leads to high profits allowing big advertising expenditures.

    Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Ah, “beer belly” that’s what they called me at Boy Scout Camp. Carbs were known to be the cause then. (Why beer contains hops is that it would be disgustingly sweet without some bittering agent.)

        That would be in the late ’50s early 60s.

        Reply
    1. Glorificus

      The French also use the near identical, same sounding word for ‘liver’ as ‘faith’, as in religious faith. So referring to ‘your liver’ would be ‘ton foie’ whereas ‘your faith’ would be ‘ta foi’
      Also, ‘fois’ means ‘times’ as in ‘How many times do you eat liver per month’?
      There’s also foie gras, which literally means ‘fat liver’ or ‘fatty liver’
      Man, the French sure love their livers.
      And French-Canadians invented poutine probably just so they can fill their livers with glycogen from the fries… Have you ever had poutine, Tom?

      Reply
  22. Rae Ford

    I couldn’t agree more with food = mood. While I’m on a low-carb diet it usually works out to most of my calories coming from animal fats like those found in salmon, beef, and dairy. Those fats are very beneficial to brain function but I also had improvements in health that affect mood as well. One of the first things I noticed after switching from my regular diet was how much I felt better physically. My knees didn’t protest at all when I went up stairs despite being overweight, I slept better, and I had energy. This was all within the first week on going low-carb. I noticed soon after that how much happier I was as a result of no longer living with those issues (also my memory and mental acuity improved noticeably.)

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ve experienced the same positive effects — consistently good mood, far fewer aches and pains — and also noticed how much more quickly I recover from physical exertion. I can go wear myself out doing heavy-duty work around the land, and by the next day I’m ready to do it again.

      Reply
  23. Becky

    We know now that the gut microbiome changes according to what we eat. I have read that the gluten-digesting bugs deplete when we don’t eat wheat. So it’s harder to digest it when we do. This makes me wonder if it would be good to have a little gluten once in a while to keep the bugs on standby. Of course, I am not celiac.

    About corn, I am distressed to learn what Boundless posted. However, I have rather instinctively avoided corn, even up to a year or so before going lower carb. It just stopped appealing to me.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Sure, our bodies work to build up a tolerance to stressors we regularly ingest. Someone who drinks a lot of alcohol regularly won’t feel as bad after a couple of shots of scotch as someone who rarely drinks.

      Reply
  24. Walter Bushell

    Bacon and eggs (Hold the toast, please) is perhaps the first choice for treating fatty liver disease.

    Choline and saturated fat both help the liver rid itself of fat.

    The French have a saying, “Is life worth living? It depends on the liver.”. It’s evident that if the body’s master chemist is malfunctioning
    the rest of the body’s function is going to take a hit. Lack of clarity of mind and “bad character” are likely results. “Bad character” like you cat on a high carb (for cats) diet, he was probably lethargic too, what with the metabolic banker partitioning more of the carbs to storage.

    They were perhaps talking about fatty liver disease as a major health problem, but we Americans have made non alcoholic fatty liver disease a major heath problem, and are exporting it world wide as fast as we can. Selling cheaply produced high carb products in proprietary forms at monopolistic prices leads to high profits allowing big advertising expenditures.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Yup. That’s why we have kids and non-drinking adults walking around with beer bellies.

      Reply
      1. Walter Bushell

        Ah, “beer belly” that’s what they called me at Boy Scout Camp. Carbs were known to be the cause then. (Why beer contains hops is that it would be disgustingly sweet without some bittering agent.)

        That would be in the late ’50s early 60s.

        Reply
    2. Glorificus

      The French also use the near identical, same sounding word for ‘liver’ as ‘faith’, as in religious faith. So referring to ‘your liver’ would be ‘ton foie’ whereas ‘your faith’ would be ‘ta foi’
      Also, ‘fois’ means ‘times’ as in ‘How many times do you eat liver per month’?
      There’s also foie gras, which literally means ‘fat liver’ or ‘fatty liver’
      Man, the French sure love their livers.
      And French-Canadians invented poutine probably just so they can fill their livers with glycogen from the fries… Have you ever had poutine, Tom?

      Reply
  25. Becky

    We know now that the gut microbiome changes according to what we eat. I have read that the gluten-digesting bugs deplete when we don’t eat wheat. So it’s harder to digest it when we do. This makes me wonder if it would be good to have a little gluten once in a while to keep the bugs on standby. Of course, I am not celiac.

    About corn, I am distressed to learn what Boundless posted. However, I have rather instinctively avoided corn, even up to a year or so before going lower carb. It just stopped appealing to me.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Sure, our bodies work to build up a tolerance to stressors we regularly ingest. Someone who drinks a lot of alcohol regularly won’t feel as bad after a couple of shots of scotch as someone who rarely drinks.

      Reply
  26. Devin

    I just started a job at a summer day camp working with the 5th and 6th graders. The kids are *insane*. They’re running around crazy, arguing over every little thing, getting unreasonably upset over the tiniest things, complaining all day long, etc. Granted, they’re kids and it’s summer, so I expect a lot of that, but I feel like their diet of pizza (provided by the camp every day for the kids whose parents don’t pack lunch) and soda, chips, and candy from the vending machines doesn’t help in the least bit.

    Reply
  27. Devin

    I just started a job at a summer day camp working with the 5th and 6th graders. The kids are *insane*. They’re running around crazy, arguing over every little thing, getting unreasonably upset over the tiniest things, complaining all day long, etc. Granted, they’re kids and it’s summer, so I expect a lot of that, but I feel like their diet of pizza (provided by the camp every day for the kids whose parents don’t pack lunch) and soda, chips, and candy from the vending machines doesn’t help in the least bit.

    Reply
  28. Firebird

    For me there are other factors involved because low carb has never improved my mood or recovery from physical activity. I bring this up so much on Dr. Davis’ Wheat Belly Facebook page that he blocked from making further comments. I guess he is one of those that only wants to hear the positive effects because it is suppose to benefit everyone equally when it clearly does not.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Diet is a big factor, and I’d look there first. But that doesn’t mean diet is the only factor.

      Reply
  29. Firebird

    For me there are other factors involved because low carb has never improved my mood or recovery from physical activity. I bring this up so much on Dr. Davis’ Wheat Belly Facebook page that he blocked from making further comments. I guess he is one of those that only wants to hear the positive effects because it is suppose to benefit everyone equally when it clearly does not.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Diet is a big factor, and I’d look there first. But that doesn’t mean diet is the only factor.

      Reply
  30. Cameron

    The mental health-diet link is still speculative, but there is some evidence to suggest that there is a relationship between the two. I’m fairly confident that poor diet leads to poor mental health, but there are a lot variables to sort out, and any kind of clinical study that could do the sorting requires a lot of time and money.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      True, and neither the drug companies nor the food companies would be interested in funding that study.

      Reply
      1. Cameron

        Now that high-fat diets aren’t as taboo as they used to be, I think the NIH would fund a clinical trial investigating how such diets affect mental health.

        But, and you allude to this in your post, the research doesn’t matter if people change their diets and get their depression under control, for example. That’s doubly true if psychiatrists and physicians start prescribing dietary treatments for mental disorders. The facts always get past the gatekeepers.

        Reply
        1. Galina L.

          The diet-mental/health connection is not a speculation. The food/mental health influence was noticed on several instances. It is the reason why Alzheimer disease is called sometimes a Diabetes type 3, the article by a professional psychiatrist Dr. Emily Dean https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201104/your-brain-ketones is another example of such connection, it is known fact that people who suffer from hypoglycemia are often misdiagnosed for years for panic attacks, anxiety, fatigue, temper outbursts, excitability, psychotic-like episodes, confusion.
          Many people would say – wait a minute, we are not talking about sick people, but about healthy children and normal adults. They should be able to eat anything without affecting their mood. We do speculate that healthy people’s behavior is influenced by their diet .

          Reply
  31. John C

    I eaten low carb for about 9 month thank you in part to your movie and the Book Wheat. I must say I have never felt bad after eating corn, potatoes & rice (I still don’t eat a lot). Wheat I alway feel bad the next day, doesn’t matter if it is beer or what.

    Hey Tom I know you don’t eat much sweets but do you find your body reacts differently to product High Fructose Corn syrup as compare to cane sugar?
    In Australia we don’t have that many product with HFCS but added sugar (mostly from sugar cane) instead. I don’t eat a lot of sweets (once a month maybe a ice cream from a gelto place) but I did try some American sweets last year and I must say the taste was sickly as compare to Australian versions.

    Reply
  32. Dianne

    I haven’t tried Mellow Mushroom, but a friend recently told me she goes to one here in the Dallas Metro area for gluten-free pizza as a special treat. She’s sort of a brittle celiac, so apparently this place is pretty careful. Has anybody else tried the gluten-free pizza there, and if so, how would you rate it? Thanks much.

    Reply
  33. Cameron

    The mental health-diet link is still speculative, but there is some evidence to suggest that there is a relationship between the two. I’m fairly confident that poor diet leads to poor mental health, but there are a lot variables to sort out, and any kind of clinical study that could do the sorting requires a lot of time and money.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      True, and neither the drug companies nor the food companies would be interested in funding that study.

      Reply
      1. Cameron

        Now that high-fat diets aren’t as taboo as they used to be, I think the NIH would fund a clinical trial investigating how such diets affect mental health.

        But, and you allude to this in your post, the research doesn’t matter if people change their diets and get their depression under control, for example. That’s doubly true if psychiatrists and physicians start prescribing dietary treatments for mental disorders. The facts always get past the gatekeepers.

        Reply
        1. Galina L.

          The diet-mental/health connection is not a speculation. The food/mental health influence was noticed on several instances. It is the reason why Alzheimer disease is called sometimes a Diabetes type 3, the article by a professional psychiatrist Dr. Emily Dean https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201104/your-brain-ketones is another example of such connection, it is known fact that people who suffer from hypoglycemia are often misdiagnosed for years for panic attacks, anxiety, fatigue, temper outbursts, excitability, psychotic-like episodes, confusion.
          Many people would say – wait a minute, we are not talking about sick people, but about healthy children and normal adults. They should be able to eat anything without affecting their mood. We do speculate that healthy people’s behavior is influenced by their diet .

          Reply
  34. John C

    I eaten low carb for about 9 month thank you in part to your movie and the Book Wheat. I must say I have never felt bad after eating corn, potatoes & rice (I still don’t eat a lot). Wheat I alway feel bad the next day, doesn’t matter if it is beer or what.

    Hey Tom I know you don’t eat much sweets but do you find your body reacts differently to product High Fructose Corn syrup as compare to cane sugar?
    In Australia we don’t have that many product with HFCS but added sugar (mostly from sugar cane) instead. I don’t eat a lot of sweets (once a month maybe a ice cream from a gelto place) but I did try some American sweets last year and I must say the taste was sickly as compare to Australian versions.

    Reply
  35. Dianne

    I haven’t tried Mellow Mushroom, but a friend recently told me she goes to one here in the Dallas Metro area for gluten-free pizza as a special treat. She’s sort of a brittle celiac, so apparently this place is pretty careful. Has anybody else tried the gluten-free pizza there, and if so, how would you rate it? Thanks much.

    Reply
  36. Erica

    I recently have been indulging in wheat. Started on June 12th, when I had an open faced sandwich and cake. And then ate some of the taco salad bowl. Every week since, I’ve indulged in something with wheat (Panda Express orange chicken). This past Wednesday, it was jambalaya at Flying Fish with the delicious toasted garlic bread.

    I don’t get physically sick from eating wheat, but I kind of wish I did. What happens to me is bloating and dry skin, and if I kept it up, joint pain in my hands. I’ve regained the 6 pounds I lost last spring, and I have no energy. Walking home from work (about a half mile) is an effort now, when before it was just walking.

    Reply
  37. Erica

    I recently have been indulging in wheat. Started on June 12th, when I had an open faced sandwich and cake. And then ate some of the taco salad bowl. Every week since, I’ve indulged in something with wheat (Panda Express orange chicken). This past Wednesday, it was jambalaya at Flying Fish with the delicious toasted garlic bread.

    I don’t get physically sick from eating wheat, but I kind of wish I did. What happens to me is bloating and dry skin, and if I kept it up, joint pain in my hands. I’ve regained the 6 pounds I lost last spring, and I have no energy. Walking home from work (about a half mile) is an effort now, when before it was just walking.

    Reply
  38. Namu

    I go for candy instead of wheat-stuff if I want to indulge, because wheat gives me mouth sores, reactive hypoglycemia, joint pain, and it flares up the latent schizophrenia I seem to have (giving me dreams that are quite wild and senseless the night that follows, too).

    Reply
  39. Namu

    I go for candy instead of wheat-stuff if I want to indulge, because wheat gives me mouth sores, reactive hypoglycemia, joint pain, and it flares up the latent schizophrenia I seem to have (giving me dreams that are quite wild and senseless the night that follows, too).

    Reply
  40. Robb

    Has it occurred to you that your girls were well behaved because you 2 are excellent parents who really care? Good job.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton

      Well, I’m of course willing to give us that pat on the back. But we’ve seen their behavior change with diet as well.

      Reply
      1. Glorificus

        You should try to find a used copy of Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature & read the chapter on parenting. If your ego needs deflating that’ll do it, but good news is short of you guys being outright child abusers your kids won’t be able to blame you later in life for their troubles.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton

          Well, we do make them clean their bedroom. Sometimes they’re convinced it’s child abuse.

          Reply
  41. Robb

    Has it occurred to you that your girls were well behaved because you 2 are excellent parents who really care? Good job.

    Reply
    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Well, I’m of course willing to give us that pat on the back. But we’ve seen their behavior change with diet as well.

      Reply
      1. Glorificus

        You should try to find a used copy of Steven Pinker’s The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature & read the chapter on parenting. If your ego needs deflating that’ll do it, but good news is short of you guys being outright child abusers your kids won’t be able to blame you later in life for their troubles.

        Reply
        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Well, we do make them clean their bedroom. Sometimes they’re convinced it’s child abuse.

          Reply
  42. DebbieC.

    Belated reply (but I’m catching up on my blogs after 6 weeks out of the country with limited internet access) to Dianne: I have a Mellow Mushroom near me. I confess I love pizza ~ especially Chicago deep dish! But I gave up wheat years ago and it’s just so not worth it. For a treat I used to get Mellow Mushroom pizza with their GF crust. Not low carb of course, but very tasty, and no bad reaction as from a wheat crust.

    However then a new place opened up near me called Your Pie ~ small chain, sort of a fast food pizza where you go down an assembly line picking all the toppings you want, and the pie is then cooked in a super-hot oven for about 5 minutes. They also y a GF crust. They are really good about avoiding contamination, will make pie in the back to avoid the wheat crust, will change into new gloves in case the old gloves touched wheat, etc. And best of all their GF pies cost about HALF what the ones atMellow Mushroom do, for the exact same-sized pie. So Mellow Mushroom is off my radar map for now. 🙂

    Reply
  43. DebbieC.

    Belated reply (but I’m catching up on my blogs after 6 weeks out of the country with limited internet access) to Dianne: I have a Mellow Mushroom near me. I confess I love pizza ~ especially Chicago deep dish! But I gave up wheat years ago and it’s just so not worth it. For a treat I used to get Mellow Mushroom pizza with their GF crust. Not low carb of course, but very tasty, and no bad reaction as from a wheat crust.

    However then a new place opened up near me called Your Pie ~ small chain, sort of a fast food pizza where you go down an assembly line picking all the toppings you want, and the pie is then cooked in a super-hot oven for about 5 minutes. They also y a GF crust. They are really good about avoiding contamination, will make pie in the back to avoid the wheat crust, will change into new gloves in case the old gloves touched wheat, etc. And best of all their GF pies cost about HALF what the ones atMellow Mushroom do, for the exact same-sized pie. So Mellow Mushroom is off my radar map for now. 🙂

    Reply

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