Evidence-Based, Simplified Nutrition and Lifestyle Strategies


Mental Health and Diet

50M Americans suffer from mental illness

Mental Health and Diet

50M Americans suffer from mental illness

Do you struggle with low mood?


Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illness? Depression is the number 1 reason for ill health and disability claims in America. In fact, mental health disorders cost the world economy $1 trillion in lost productivity a year. (WHO.)


And these numbers are from 2018. I’m sure the rates of mental health illness has skyrocketed since the closure of communities and connection.


There are genetic tendencies and wirings that cause mental illnesses but what if it’s more about food and less about something broken with our neurotransmitter uptake and regulation? After all, kids-turned-adults tend to eat the same way they did growing up.  So then, how much is it genetics and how much is it the food we fuel our bodies with?


I suffered with severe post-partum depression and was put on antidepressants, even antipsychotics. I rarely talk about it because it’s a very dark period in my life.  But I’ve recently shared my story very openly. You can watch it here.



During this time, I was also on a low-fat, plant-based diet. Never once was I asked about my diet.


As soon as I went meat-based, my moods stabilized. As I healed, there were no more sugar crashes and no more depression.


Our brain is made up of 60% cholesterol (fat) and when we are highly stressed, we need MORE cholesterol to support the body. One reason is because the steroid hormone, cortisol is made from cholesterol.


And our body will ALWAYS prioritize what allows us to survive another day— the body will always prioritize balancing sugar levels in the blood. The difference between normal blood sugars and a person with diabetes is only a ¼ of a TEASPOON. (You can find the math in Carnivore Cure).


So, if the body has to choose between cholesterol for cortisol production (for blood regulation) OR cholesterol for brain health, the cholesterol for blood regulation will likely win. And add to the diet a low-fat one, you’re asking for mental health troubles. Have this repeat over time, and there goes your mental health.

Gut and Brain Connection


This is why a high-stressed life, poor-fat, high-carb diet (and then excess exercise and poor sleep) will adversely impact our mental health.


The same happens with statins. We reduce cholesterol in our bodies with statins. What does that mean for cholesterol in the brain for mental health? Low cholesterol is linked to depression and erratic behavior. Serotonin dysfunction is implied in major depression and suicide.


Do you know what supports proper serotonin function?


Most neurotransmitters are made in our gut. One of them is serotonin. One amino acid that makes serotonin production is tryptophan. If you have poor gut health, how will you ensure that your meat is breaking down to increase and absorb tryptophan for serotonin?


At least make sure you are eating enough foods that have tryptophan. (Sorry plant-based foods).


We need tryptophan for health. We need it for mental health. In fact, I was probably eating no foods that had tryptophan for my 12 years being plant-based and I was mentally breaking down.


Brain is a big fan of cholesterol


In Carnivore Cure I talk about how we need tryptophan to support our bodies from toxins such as glyphosate and GMO toxins. Without it, we risk losing nearly all our bacteria. (More info in the book).


Should the answer be to regulate serotonin with meds or find the root cause? After all, most antidepressants stop working after a while.


You can also watch how gut health gut health affects mental health, here. (Video plugin is also at the bottom of the blog post).


The brain makes up 2% of our weight


There are some great articles on the risks of antidepressants. If you are suffering, you may want to read. (You can thank one of my lovely clients) Here and Here. Here’s a place you can start finding support and healing from medication harm.


If you are wondering about your gut health or if you are breaking down your amino acids, you can take the symptom burden for gut health and the organic acids test for gut and amino acid (even candida and oxalate support).


Chicken and pork are high in tryptophan. All meat has some. Eat these meats for your well-being. Your mental health depends on it.


If you suffer with mental illness, a high-fat, meat-based diet may finally start the root-cause healing journey. ♥️



In ♥️ and health,

Things To Remember about Mental Health




While I am a nutritional therapy practitioner and provide nutritional support, I am not providing medical advice. Any information provided in regards to nutritional therapy should not be considered medical advice or treatment. While I do partner with physicians to provide holistic nutrition and lifestyle support, whenever you start a new diet or protocol, always consult your primary care physician and/or holistic team.


Nutrition with Judy


  • Julie Mann
    November 15, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Just an amazing post, as always AND the video, thank you for being so genuine and caring Judy. You are changing lives (MINE) and your book(!!!) – cannot wait!

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