Low meat diet can contribute to violence, finds US report

By Carina Perkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Low meat diets could be contributing to anger and depression, says the report
Low meat diets could be contributing to anger and depression, says the report

Related tags: Nutrition

Modern diets low in red meat and natural fats could be contributing towards violent behaviour in America, particularly among teenagers, according to a new report.

The report, by nutrition researcher Sylvia Onusic, PhD, found that deficiencies of the vitamins A, D, K, B1, B3, B6, B12 and folate, and of minerals iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, chromium and manganese, can lead to mental instability and violent behaviour.

“The brain and nervous system require specific nutrients to function properly, and the evidence is overwhelming that nutrient deficiencies can lead to aggression and violent behaviour,”​ it said.

It pointed out that doctors in the US were seeing a return of nutritional deficiency diseases such as pellagra, the symptoms of which include anxiety, hyperactivity, depression, fatigue, headache, insomnia and hallucinations. There has also been a rise in zinc deficiency, which is linked with angry, aggressive and hostile behaviour.

Meat was identified as a rich source of many of the vitamins and minerals lacking in US diets, particularly red meat and organ meats.

The report identified problems with foods used to replace meat in the diet, such as grain-based carbohydrates, pointing out that gluten sensitivity was thought to exacerbate nutrient deficiencies and had been “strongly linked with schizophrenia”.

It added that soy, along with MSG, aspartame, sugar, caffeine and alcohol, had also been linked to violent behaviour and recommended a return to “natural products such as raw milk, pastured eggs and meat”.

The report was published in the Spring 2013 issue of Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A Price Foundation, an organisation that campaigns for a return to traditional diets.

Sally Fallon Morell, president of the Weston A Price Foundation, said: “The only solution to the mounting levels of violence is a return to real, nutrient-dense food.

“We must create a culture in which eating processed food is seen as uncool, and in which home cooking is embraced as a life-enhancing skill.”

Related topics: Industry & Markets, United States

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