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Saturday, 26 January 2019

What is the dopamine diet?

Billed as the weight loss regime that boosts mood too, this diet is all about increasing levels of the ‘happy hormone’ dopamine in the brain at the same time as shedding pounds. Certain celebrities such as TV chef Tom Kerridge have boosted this diet’s popularity in recent years. There are several different versions of the diet, but all are based around foods that are thought to boost dopamine. These can include:
  • Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Unprocessed meats such as beef, chicken and turkey
  • Omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and mackerel
  • Eggs
  • Fruit and vegetables, in particular bananas
  • Nuts such as almonds and walnuts
  • Dark chocolate
Dopamine Diet For Weight Loss
So what are the main foods that dopamine dieters should consume more of? Chef Kerridge believes that his 'dopamine heroes' are foods like dairy products including yogurt, good quality meat products like beef, chicken and turkey, and even chocolate! The diet seems to be based around the growing research evidence that suggests that certain foods are capable of triggering happy hormones in the body. Some studies have even suggested a link between body weight and the production of dopamine in the body. The studies have suggested that an exposure to excessively sugary and fatty foods may impair dopamine release pathways in overweight people. This may lead to depressive symptoms and low feelings, as well as habits of overeating in people with a high weight.

On the other hand, it has been found that eating protein-rich meals may curb your appetite, whilst also increasing the production of dopamine in your body. This is because proteins are made up of amino acids, which are important for release of dopamine. The dopamine diet may work, as it doesn't deprive you of any particular food, although it does encourage reducing the consumption of carbohydrates.

Does The Dopamine Diet Work?
Any diet that promotes the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables over starchy carbohydrates may work by making you eat healthy and cleaning up your meals. Most health experts will advise you to include more fresh produce and proteins in your diet and eliminate alcohol, and sugary and fatty foods. But there is limited evidence to suggest that the diet will surely leave you with feelings of happiness. The dopamine diet is based on the fact that the amino acid tyrosine converts to dopamine in the body, but there is not enough scientific evidence to suggest that eating more proteins will definitely result in more release of dopamine in the brain.

Daily exercise and a generally healthy diet including less sugar and less fat is said to be better for your overall health, whether a celebrity chef condones it or not!
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