Meat Consumption and Anxiety

The food choices an individual makes can directly influence their mood. Certain foods, mainly plant foods, have been shown to have a beneficial effect on long term mental health, because they reduce oxidation and inflammation. In contrast diets that are devoid of plant foods tend to detrimentally affect mood, especially if they contain large amounts of pro-inflammatory foods. High meat diets can be detrimental to mood and may be a risk factor for anxiety and depression for two main reasons. Firstly, high meat diets, such as the typical Western diet are by their very nature low in plant foods. Secondly, low quality and processed meat is highly inflammatory, especially if it is combined with a high energy diet. It should come as no surprise therefore that studies have consistently shown an association between meat consumption and mood disorders. That is not to say eating meat is bad, but it should be consumed within a mainly plant based diet in order to prevent deleterious inflammatory and oxidative pathways from activating. 

Eat Well, Stay Healthy, protect Yourself


Nucci, D., Fatigoni, C., Amerio, A., Odone, A. and Gianfredi, V. 2020. Red and processed meat consumption and risk of depression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 17(18): 6686

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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