my-bread

Carb-phobic? Know someone who is? Do you or someone you know tend to get slightly hysterical about the horrors of bread?  Is there high drama and a big production of eschewing the potatoes at the Thanksgiving table, as if carb-cutting were akin to godliness? Gets on our nerves a little (actually, a lot)… But, yes, sure enough, they tend to lose weight.

Here’s the thing. Lots of diets work. But new science tells us that cutting carbs may in fact lead to increased levels of depression and anxiety. That’s right, bi-yatches, hang on to your bialys: eating bread may actually improve your mental health.

It’s the stuff of life: ancient, simple, fragrant, satisfying, CHEAP. Turns out it may also increase the production of serotonin in the brain.

Saying bye-bye Prozac, hello pizza?

More research is needed, but a recent Boston Globe article cited a study comparing the mood levels of two dieting groups. One group ate low-fat/high-carb; the other ate high-fat, low-carb. People in both groups lost weight. But:

“… after a year on the diet, the people who ate less fat and more carbs continued to report feeling happier and less depressed and anxious than they had before. The other dieters, who ate more fat and less carbohydrates, felt their moods decline from the early rise they had noted.”

Well, well! Seems food may do more for neurochemistry than previously imaged. And we like the sound of this, smitten as we are with an incredible cookbook by Jim Lahey, My Bread. His no-knead dough technique is easy as hell (click here to link to his basic bread recipe in the NY Times), and yields the most gorgeous, most crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside loaves imaginable.

So be happy.

Make bread.

Then eat it.