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The Notorious UPF: what is ultra-processed food and how does it affect our health?

Close to half of the calories eaten by Australians each day come from ultra-processed foods. New research from our team at the Food & Mood Centre has linked these foods to poor health and early death. But what are ultra-processed foods and why should we pay more attention to...

Bugs for your brain? The effect of prebiotics, probiotics and fermented foods on cognition

When it comes to health, we’re all after a quick fix, but new research shows neither popping a prebiotic or probiotic pill, or consuming fermented foods, has an effect on boosting our brain power. So, does this mean you should throw out those pills and kefir for good? Not...

Lactobacillus and anxiety: what’s the link?

How our gut microbiome could help reduce anxiety and its potential effects on the most common antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication. Interactions between the gut and anxiety Oftentimes, when we’re nervous or worried we feel it in our belly. We may feel nauseous or need to run for the bathroom....

Biting off more than you can chew: Do we eat more when consuming low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets?

In a world where the overconsumption of food is increasing, which diet would you put your money on to promote eating less? According to a recent landmark study, something about ketogenic, low-carbohydrate diets make us more likely to overeat – but the story is more complicated than it may...

Should I test my gut microbes to improve my health?

People are paying hundreds of dollars to have their gut microbes analysed, hoping the insights will allow them to adjust their diet and improve their health. But these testing services are based on science that’s still in its infancy, as we explain in our recent paper. So while there...

Food and Mood – Improving Mental Health Through Diet and Nutrition

Online Course through Deakin University and FutureLearn In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, many of us will find ourselves with a lot more time in our homes. If, like me, you have spent the first few weeks of social isolation incessantly scrolling through social media and the grim...

For women’s sake, let’s screen for depression as part of the new heart health checks

The latest government statistics, released last week, show that from 2001-2016, the rate of cardiac events (heart attacks or unstable angina) fell by more than half among Australian women. That’s largely because of greater education about risk factors for heart disease (smoking rates continue to fall), and medical advances...

Complex systems and mental health

It’s widely known that how we fuel and move our bodies can influence our physical health, and of great interest to the Food & Mood Centre, it can also influence our mental health. We also now know that the factors influencing what we eat and how we engage in...

Gut microbiota and diet: an introduction

Over the past decade, interest in the gut microbiome has grown as efforts to measure its composition and function have developed. We now know that we have more bugs within and on us than we do human cells, and some consider us more bacterial than Homo sapien. What is...