For decades, butter and full-fat milk have been dietary no-nos. But “The Happiness Diet” co-authors, Tyler Graham and Dr. Drew Ramsey, say we need to return to these foods to build healthier, happier brains. According to this book, what’s good for the brain is good for the body, too.
“We see obesity and diabetes increasing and mood disorders rising in epic proportions,” says Graham, a former “O, The Oprah Magazine” health editor. “Science is showing more and more evidence that brain and body nutrition are linked.”
Though the book’s cover pictures an appetizing-looking burger, the authors aren’t suggesting we head straight to the fast-food counter. On the contrary, the “Happiness Diet” promotes nutritionally rich organically raised meats, dairy and eggs with all the natural fats in tact. Low-fat products are nutritionally inferior, Graham says: “We have been misled.”
For example, according to his research, in 1870 when Procter and Gamble began developing margarine, their butter-smearing campaign was filled with deliberately misleading medical data. It eventually led to last century’s influx of manufactured margarine and products like Crisco.
“If it’s created in a factory, we should not be eating it,” says Graham. “We need to return to eating foods that are natural. They contain the right amount of omega-3s for the brain. Besides, they taste better too. We have to unlearn the Modern American Diet, which we call MAD for a good reason.”
What to eat for happiness
Wild, sustainably caught fish: “Try to eat at least two to three servings a week. Fish is a great source of B12, omega 3s and vitamin D, which are all crucial for beating the winter blues.”
Coffee: “It’s perfectly healthy to drink coffee every morning. Not only does it boost mood, focus and energy, but research shows it may help stave off Alzheimer’s.”
Garlic: “Diced and sauteed, this is a great start for everything from scrambled eggs to sauteed vegetables. Try to include it in your diet every day. [It] promotes blood flow to the brain and decreases blood pressure.”
Chili peppers: “All chili peppers contain the molecule capsaicin, which triggers the release of endorphins that relax the body.”