Research Finds That A Healthy Diet Can Reduce Depression In Patients With Diabetes And HIV

According to a recent study,  eating healthy foods and snacks may help diabetes and HIV positive patients battle depression and stick to their medication routines.

The Study

Conducted by researchers from the University of California and Project Open Hand, the study’s aim was to find whether ensuring people got proper nutrition would be beneficial for them. Over the course of the study, the researchers followed 52 participants with diabetes or HIV who were given components of the Mediterranean diet including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. These meals fulfilled the daily calorie and nutritional requirements of the participants.

Since the sample size was small, the study has not been deemed statistically significant. However, it found that the people who had a nutritious diet displayed better blood sugar control, were less likely to eat sugar, lost weight and were hospitalised less.

Additionally, the study found that people with HIV on a healthier diet were more likely to follow their  to their medication guidelines. It also found that the patients with HIV were less likely to binge drink and follow their antiretroviral therapy.

“We saw significant improvements in food security and in outcomes related to all three mechanisms through which we posited that food insecurity may affect HIV and diabetes health — nutritional, mental health and behavioural,” said Kartika Palar, Assistant Professor at University of California – San Francisco (UCSF), US.

“This study highlights the vital role that community-based food support organizations can play in supporting health and well-being of chronically ill populations who struggle to afford basic needs,” added Sheri Weiser, M.D., associate professor of medicine at UCSF and senior author of the study.

The researchers suggest that this study should pave way for further research into how a nutrition rich diet can help patients’ physical and mental health.

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