People Who Eat Balanced Diet Have Better Mental Health Outcomes And Cognitive Function: Latest Research – NDTV Food

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Balance is essential in every aspect of our lives, including our diet. According to the findings of a new study, people who eat a balanced diet reported better mental health outcomes and cognitive function than those whose dietary preferences were vegetarian, high protein and low fibre, or starch-free or reduced starch. The findings of the study were published in the journal ‘Nature Mental Health‘ this month. Read on to learn more about the research as well as how to follow a balanced diet.

The large study examined the food-liking patterns and dietary preferences of more than 180,000 adults in the United Kingdom. The researchers broke those dietary patterns into four subtypes:

  1. Starch-free or reduced starch: A higher preference for fruits, vegetables and protein foods but a lower preference for starches.
  2. Vegetarian: A stronger preference for fruits and vegetables, while a lower preference for protein foods.
  3. High protein and low fibre: A greater preference for snacks and protein foods but a lower preference for fruits and vegetables.
  4. Balanced: A balanced preference across all food categories.

As per the researchers, more than half of the people surveyed fell into the “balanced” category and reported better mental health outcomes and cognitive function than any of the other three, reported Healthline. Here are some shortcomings as observed for the diet subtypes 2 and 3, as mentioned above. 

Vegetarian Diet And Brain Health

The researchers found that the people who were vegetarian had higher grey matter volumes in the part of the brain called the thalamus and precuneus. The study also found an increased risk of mental health issues in those who consumed more vegetables and fruits. This finding could be due to the design of the study and requires further study, the authors note as shared by Healthline.

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High-Protein/Low-Fiber Diet And Brain Health

According to the study, those who followed the high-protein/low-fibre diet had lower grey matter volumes in a part of the brain called the postcentral gyrus, than those who followed a balanced diet. This part of the brain coordinates how our body moves through the environment.

The findings of the study suggest creating a balance in your eating habits for better mental health and cognition. Here are some Indian foods for a healthy and balanced diet.
Also Read: Pregnancy Diet: How Fennel Tea May Help Minimize The Symptoms Of Morning Sickness

Indian Foods To Eat In A Balanced Diet

According to the Indian Dietetic Association, foods you should eat for a healthy and balanced diet include:

  1. Cereals, millets and pulses
  2. Vegetables and fruits
  3. Milk and milk products — egg, meat and fish
  4. Oils, nuts and oilseeds

Tips To Help You Follow A Balanced Diet

According to the Indian Dietetic Association, a balanced diet needs to be achieved by eating a variety of foods and consuming seasonal foods and local foods. Prepare traditional recipes and follow traditional cooking practices. Avoid all processed and ready-to-eat foods, eat healthy fats and avoid processed fats like vanaspati, bakery items, highly refined and saturated fats. Ensure good hydration and exercise discipline. Know your exact portions and avoid overeating and undereating. Along with your diet, maintain a balance in your lifestyle by doing exercise, yoga, meditation, sleeping well and ensuring hydration.
Also Read: 5 Foods You Must Eat For A Longer, Healthier Life – Blue Zones Expert Reveals

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


About Jigyasa KakwaniJigyasa finds her solace through writing, a medium she is exploring to make the world more informed and curious with every story published. She is always up for exploring new cuisines, but her heart comes back to the comforting ghar-ka-khana.

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

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