How Processed Meat and Farmed Fish is Linked to AnxietyJan 19, 2022
Processed meat such as hot dogs, sausages, and meat pies can cause anxiety immediately after it’s eaten! Researchers in London found that eating a diet of processed meats and fatty foods increased the risk of depression—in fact, the risk was 58 percent higher than for those who ate whole foods such as fish and vegetables.1 We also need to be careful about nitrates, which are the chemicals used to cure processed meats. A study by John Hopkins Medicine found that rats fed a nitrate-rich diet showed mania-like hyperactivity after just a few weeks. The same researchers studied 1,000 people and found that those who had been hospitalized for mania had more than three times the odds of having eaten nitrate-cured meats than those without a history of a serious psychiatric disorder .2
If you want to eat sausages, try organic ones, made with healthy ingredients that won’t destroy your brain.
Farmed fish has become increasingly popular and doesn’t sound nearly as harmful as it is. However, farm-raised salmon is nutritionally different than wild-caught salmon in a few ways. First, it has considerably more calories because of what it is fed. It is also much higher in fat, especially omega-6s, which can contribute to inflammation. Further, it is lower in minerals like potassium, zinc, and iron. Finally, and this is the main reason to avoid it, it is much higher in contaminants.3
Fish pick up chemicals such as dioxins and PCBs from the water they swim in. And they pick them up from the feed they are given, which in salmon farming often means grains grown with pesticides (hence the contamination). Fisheries also raise animals in crowded conditions, so they give the fish antibiotics to reduce the chance of infection. Everything is in their flesh.
This is an excerpt from my latest book, Anxiety-Free with Food. To read more about this topic, get the book HERE.
1. K. Hurley, “Understanding Suicide: From Risk Factors to Prevention, and How to Get Help,” Everyday Health (accessed May 6, 2020), https://www.everydayhealth.
2. “Beef Jerky and Other Processed Meats Associated with Manic Episodes,” Johns Hopkins Medicine Newsroom, July 18, 2018, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.
3. J. Leech, “Wild vs. Farmed Salmon—Which Type Is Healthier?” Healthline (June 4, 2017), https://healthline.com/