Scientists Find A Link Between Vegetarian Diet And Depression

By: | April 12th, 2023

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A new study by Brazilian researchers suggests that vegetarians may be more prone to depression. Brazilian experts say that people who give up eating meat experience depressive episodes twice as those who stick to animal products.

The study suggests that this link is independent of nutritional intake!

The researchers from Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul investigated the potential association between a meatless diet and depression among adults by surveying 14,216 participants of different age groups over six months.

A wide range of nutritional factors was considered, like total calorie intake, protein intake, and the level of food processing. They concluded that the higher rate of depression among vegetarians was not caused by the nutritional content of their diet.

So what might explain the link between vegetarianism and depression?

Experts say that there could be multiple reasons. It might also be due to the veggies being teased for their choice of diet.

It is also possible that depressed people turn to a veggie diet due to feelings of guilt. Since preventing cruelty to animals is the most commonly cited reason vegetarians give for avoiding meat.

Experts however have criticized the study, arguing it could not establish if vegetarianism actually caused depression and the findings may only apply to Brazilian populations.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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