- With Mayo Clinic nutritionist
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.read biographyclose window
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor for the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, Katherine is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She is active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition education related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Junk food blues: Are depression and diet related?
Can a junk food diet increase your risk of depression?
from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
Depression and diet may be related. Some preliminary research suggests that having a poor diet can make you more vulnerable to depression. Researchers in Britain looked at depression and diet in more than 3,000 middle-aged office workers over the course of five years. They found that people who ate a junk food diet — one that was high in processed meat, chocolates, sweet desserts, fried food, refined cereals and high-fat dairy products — were more likely to report symptoms of depression.
The good news is that the people who ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish were less likely to report being depressed. These results are in line with other research findings that healthy diets help protect against disease. For example, studies suggest that people who follow the Mediterranean diet — which emphasizes fruits, vegetables and fish, and limits meat and dairy products — have lower rates of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
More research is needed on the connection between depression and diet. In the meantime, you might want to eat your veggies and cut back on the junk food.Next question
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- Akbaraly TN, et al. Dietary pattern and depressive symptoms in middle age. British Journal of Psychiatry. 2009;195:408.
- Jacka FN, et al. The association between habitual diet quality and the common mental disorders in community-dwelling adults: The Hordaland Health Study. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2011;73:483.
- Crawford GB, et al. Depressive symptoms and self-reported fast-food intake in midlife women. Preventive Medicine. 2011;52:254.
- Sofi F, et al. Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status: Meta-analysis. British Medical Journal. 2008;337:a1344.