Nu­tri­tion News

The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS -

M ore good news on the Mediter­ranean Diet

The pos­si­ble ther­a­peu­tic im­pact of di­etary changes on ex­ist­ing men­tal ill­ness is largely un­known. Us­ing a ran­domised con­trolled trial de­sign, re­searchers aimed to in­ves­ti­gate the ef­fi­cacy of di­etary im­prove­ment (the ‘SMILES’ study) for the treat­ment of ma­jor de­pres­sive episodes.

The re­searchers fol­lowed 67 Aus­tralian in­di­vid­u­als with a his­tory of de­pres­sion and poor di­etary habits. Study par­tic­i­pants were ran­domly sorted into two groups: One group re­ceived di­etary in­ter­ven­tion and the sec­ond group re­ceived so­cial sup­port. In ad­di­tion to the in­ter­ven­tions, both groups were be­ing treated with a mix­ture of anti-de­pres­sive med­i­ca­tion and/or ther­apy.

The diet that was taught to the Di­etary Sup­port group fol­lowed a whole-foods Mediter­ranean ap­proach, de­scribed as fol­lows:

“The pri­mary fo­cus was on in­creas­ing diet qual­ity by sup­port­ing the con­sump­tion of the fol­low­ing 12 key food groups (rec­om­mended serv­ings in brack­ets): whole grains (5–8 serv­ings per day); veg­eta­bles (6 per day); fruit (3 per day); legumes (3–4 per week); low­fat and unsweet­ened dairy foods (2–3 per day); raw and un­salted nuts (1 per day); fish (at least 2 per week); lean red meats (3–4 per week), chicken (2–3 per week); eggs (up to 6 per week); and olive oil (3 ta­ble­spoons per day), whilst re­duc­ing in­take of ‘ex­tra’ foods, such as sweets, re­fined ce­re­als, fried food, fast food, pro­cessed meats and sug­ary drinks (no more than 3 per week).”

Af­ter 12 weeks of the in­ter­ven­tion, the di­etary sup­port group showed a sig­nif­i­cantly greater im­prove­ment on the de­pres­sion rat­ing scale than the so­cial sup­port group. This study is still pre­lim­i­nary, but it sug­gests that di­etary im­prove­ment may be an ef­fec­tive strat­egy to help treat de­pres­sion.

Eggs are a nu­tri­tious whole-food and an im­por­tant con­trib­u­tor to a healthy di­etary pat­tern. They are a source of high qual­ity pro­tein and other im­por­tant nu­tri­ents such as carotenoids, vi­ta­min D, B12, se­le­nium and choline which all play a role to help im­prove diet qual­ity.¡

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