Unlike other diets that focus just on weight loss, the setpoint diet helps you become the best version of YOU. Yes, it helps you look and feel better physically. But it also helps you feel better mentally and emotionally. After all, what good is looking good if you suffer from depression, anxiety, dementia? Or, if your relationships are in turmoil because you cannot cope with everyday demands?
The Setpoint diet, Depression, and Dementia
If you suffer from depression, you know how awful it can make you feel. Though you may think you are depressed because you are overweight, the cause of severe (clinical) depression is much more complex than that. Though we don’t know exactly what causes clinical depression, we do know certain factors increase the chances of developing this mental disorder. These factors include past physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse, death or loss of a loved one, family history of genetics, major changes, and more. Research also shows there is a dietary component to depression. It is this dietary component that the setpoint diet addresses and corrects.
And how about dementia? Though there is no “official” cause (or cure) for dementia, research also shows that diet may influence the development of this disorder. A 2015 study conducted by the Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla in Mexica found that high-calorie, high-sugar diets lead to inflammation of memory centers in the brain. This increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Meanwhile, a 2017 study found that drinking one artificially sweetened beverage per day could nearly triple the risk of developing stroke or dementia.
It is not possible to separate the quality of diet from the quality of your health. The two are inseparable.
The Nutritional Cause of Depression, Dementia, and Other Conditions
The link between diet, depression, and dementia is good news for the millions of people suffering from these conditions. After all, if diet causes or contributes to these conditions, diet can also cure them. Right?
Right. And the setpoint diet will help you do just that. The setpoint diet works on depression and dementia because it addresses poor nutrition. Research shows there is a nutritional basis for most mental and physical health conditions.
According to the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, about half of all Americans have at least one preventable chronic disease, many of which are related to poor-quality nutritional habits. Some of these chronic diseases include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
Take the two most common nutritional-based diseases: obesity and type 2 diabetes. More than two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity in the U.S. population has been rising steadily over the past 25 years, a trend that shows no signs of slowing or reversing. As the rates of obesity have risen, so have the rates of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (Studies show being overweight increases the risk for many diseases.)
Obesity is also the number one risk factor for type 2 diabetes, a disease that significantly increases your risk for stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and other serious conditions. The link between obesity and type 2 diabetes is so strong that the word “diabesity” was coined to describe the close association between these two diseases. Diabesity is caused by an elevated body weight setpoint and blood sugar setpoint.
But what does any of this have to do with depression and dementia? Well…the factors that elevate setpoint can also cause depression and/or dementia.
Factors that Elevate Setpoint
The factors that elevate these setpoints are neurological inflammation, digestive dysbiosis, and hormonal dysregulation. The setpoint diet can heal all three of these to either reverse or prevent diabesity, which will also help you avoid depression and/or dementia.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.
Neurological inflammation is a condition in which the hypothalamus in the brain becomes inflamed. This causes your setpoint to rise, and you will likely develop diabesity. What does the hypothalamus have to do with hunger and setpoint?
Though hunger comes from your stomach, you cannot feel hunger without some help from your brain. The hypothalamus, an almond-sized structure located deep within your brain, is the link between your head and your stomach. It regulates and controls your metabolism. But if it becomes inflamed, it cannot do that job properly. The result is an elevated setpoint.
Now, inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing. It goes on throughout your body in various degrees and is a vital part of the healing process. During inflammation, enzymes, antibodies, white blood cells, and nutrients access the injured area to fight infection and remove debris and bacteria.
Inflammation only becomes a problem if it is chronic. This can damage your organs, which is why inflammation is the underlying cause of many serious health problems, such as heart disease, dementia, cancer, depression, anxiety, and Diabesity. Chronic inflammation occurs for a variety of reasons, such as low-quality food, excessive stress, lack of sleep, feeling ashamed or alone.
Leaky Brain Syndrome: How it Causes Depression, Dementia, and Other Conditions
But…inflammation is not supposed to occur in the brain. The blood-brain barrier is supposed to keep bacteria, pathogens, toxins, and other dangerous substances out of the brain’s fragile environment. But when the blood-brain barrier is compromised, it allows these dangerous substances into the brain’s environment. These toxins activate inflammation-causing microglia cells.
Doctors are calling this a “hidden epidemic,” one of the most overlooked public health crises of our generation. It has become so common they even have a nickname for it…Leaky Brain Syndrome…or LBS.
This inflammatory response can then shut down energy production in brain cells, causing mental fatigue that causes your brain to literally slow down as your neurons fire more slowly. Shutting down energy production in brain cells and slowing down the firing of neurons severely breaks down every system in the body. Research shows neurological inflammation can cause slowed metabolism, leading to weight gain, and slowed cognitive function, leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Research also shows neurological inflammation plays a role in anxiety and depression. In fact, a 2017 study published in Neurology Journal showed those with higher inflammatory brain activity had higher levels of depression and anxiety.
The setpoint diet, as you’ll see shortly, will help reduce and eliminate neurological inflammation. This will not only help you lose weight, but it will also help depression and dementia.
Did you know your body is composed of an estimated 100 trillion cells, but only about 10 percent of them are human?
That’s right…about 90% of your cells are bacteria — and most of them live in your gut. Bacteria living in your gut and digestive tract exert a major influence on your setpoint and therefore on your vulnerability to diabesity, depression, dementia, and other conditions.
Making up what scientists call the “gut microbiota,” these bacteria are responsible for many tasks. For instance, they help extract calories from the food you eat, and they store these calories for later use as body fat. Some of these microbes even have a profound impact on neurological inflammation and whether or not you develop Diabesity. (See how connected the brain and the gut are?!!!)
Many experiments with mice have shown surprising results. In one experiment, mice given gut bacteria from people with Diabesity became fatter than mice who were given microbes from people without Diabesity!
The research into the effects of gut microbes on setpoint weight has been so compelling it has birthed a related field of research around consuming gut health boosting pre- and probiotics to assist with Diabesity.
Leaky Gut, Mental Health, and Cognitive Ability
And believe it or not, the proper balance of good and bad gut bacteria is essential for proper mental and physical health. If you have too many harmful bacteria, yeast, and parasites and too few beneficial bacteria — a condition called “gut dysbiosis” — they can damage the gut lining. This causes “leaky gut,” allowing these harmful substances to “leak” into the bloodstream.
Once these harmful substances enter the bloodstream, they can impact your brain chemistry, causing anxiety, depression, mood swings, and other mental health issues. Research also indicates that these harmful substances in the bloodstream can negatively affect cognitive ability, contributing to Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.
The setpoint diet helps you obtain and maintain the proper balance of gut bacteria so that you can prevent or reverse Diabesity, depression, dementia, and other mental and physical health conditions.
Hormonal dysregulation is a big contributor to weight gain, depression, and other conditions. Let’s discuss weight gain first.
If you’ve had trouble managing diabetes or losing weight and keeping it off, a “hormonal clog” may be responsible for keeping your setpoint elevated. When you become hormonally clogged, your brain can no longer rely on signals from your hormones that usually enables you to burn body fat automatically.
An easy way to understand how this hormonal clog elevates your setpoint is to think about your body as functioning like a sink. When a sink is working properly, the more water you pour in it just means more water will drain out. The water level will probably rise temporarily, but the sink automatically takes care of it. What is happening here? The sink is balancing water in and water out at a low level. Think of a working sink as having a low setpoint.
A hormonally healthy body works similarly, continually working to prevent excess body fat from accumulating. A healthy body, like a “healthy” sink, responds to more in with more out, and to less in with less out.
When water builds up in sinks and fat builds up in bodies, it’s because they have become clogged. And they become clogged only when the wrong things are put in them.
Once a clog happens, any amount of water in will cause the water level to rise and stay high. Now you have a sink with an elevated setpoint. Think of your body in the same way. When you put poor-quality food into it, your body becomes hormonally clogged. This causes it to automatically balance you out at an elevated level of body fat (the diseases of overweight and obesity) and also an elevated level of blood sugar (the disease of diabetes).
Hormonal Dysregulation, Depression, and Dementia
Most people, particularly women, are aware of the mood-hormone link. After all, you can’t go through puberty, pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause without being awash in a variety of ever-changing emotions. And let’s not forget PMS. If you’ve experienced any of these stages of life, you’ve undoubtedly experienced depression.
Yes, depression, anxiety, mood swings…all are part and parcel of these stages of life. Though hormonal fluctuations are normal at certain stages of life, such hormonal dysregulation can wreak havoc with your life. Sex hormone imbalances in particular — in both men and women — can cause depression, mood swings, low sex drive, fatigue, and more. And it’s not just sex hormones. Dysregulation of thyroid hormones can cause mood swings and/or depression.
And what about dementia? Research suggests dysregulation of estrogen levels may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of dementia disorder, as you age. Another study, published in Neurology, suggests that high thyroid hormone levels may increase the risk of dementia.
Depression and Dementia: Is a Cure Possible?
Depression and dementia have no cure, experts say. The cause of these conditions are also not known, they say. So, pharmaceutical companies create medications that just treat the symptoms, medications that never address the underlying cause of these conditions.
Take a look at depression, for instance. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 322 million people globally suffer from depression. Depression is a serious mood disorder that affects how you feel, think, and act. Serious (clinical) depression is not just a passing feeling of sadness. Rather, it is a persistent feeling of sadness.
There are several types of depression, including:
Major Depressive Disorder: An overwhelming feeling of sadness or a loss of interest in once enjoyable activities. It is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for those ages 15-44.
Persistent Depressive Disorder: Persistently sad or dark mood most days of the week for at least 2 years. Approximately 3.3 million U.S. adults suffer from persistent depressive disorder in a given year.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Severe form of PMS characterized by mood changes that disrupt important areas of life. Between 3% and 8% of women of childbearing age suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Depression related to change of seasons, usually winter. An estimated 4% to 6% of people suffer seasonal affective disorder in the winter. Another 10% to 20% may have a milder form of SAD.
Traditional Treatments for Depression
Traditional forms of treatment for depression have not changed much in the past few decades. Psychotherapy, antidepressant medication, or a combination of the two are the treatments of choice.
Several forms of psychotherapy are available to treat depression. Of those, cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, and cognitive behavior therapy are most commonly used to treat depression.
- Cognitive Therapy helps patients identify their common patterns of negative thinking, and then teaches them how to replace those negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Behavioral Therapy helps patients change undesired behaviors. It does this by reinforcing positive behaviors and eliminating negative behaviors.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy helps the patient combine cognitive and behavior therapy to create positive change and relieve depression.
Several types of medications are also available to treat depression.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, and they are usually the first type prescribed. They cause fewer side effects than other types of antidepressant medications. SSRIs are thought to work by improving the function of serotonin in the brain. Common SSRIs are Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac, and Lexapro.
Serotonin and Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
SNRIs improve levels of serotonin and noradrenaline, which is thought to improve mood. SNRIs are often prescribed for severe depression. Like SSRIs, they have fewer side effects than other antidepressants. Common SNRIs are Effexor, Cymbalta, and Pristiq.
Reversible Inhibitors of MonoAmine Oxidase (RIMAs)
RIMAs reduce the activity of monoamine oxidase, a chemical in the body that breaks down norepinephrine and serotonin. This results in an increase of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain, which can improve mood and relieve depression. Common RIMAs include Aurorix, Manerix, Piraxidol, and Humoryl.
Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs)
TCAs increase the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain. They are used to treat not only depression, but also migraines, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bedwetting. TCAs can have harmful side effects, so they are not prescribed as often as SSRIs. Common TCAs include Tofranil, Pamelor, Vivactil, and Surmontil.
Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (NARIs)
NARIs inhibit the reuptake of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and/or epinephrine, which has a stimulating effect on the brain. This can improve mood and lift depression. Common NARIs include Vestra, Ludiomil, and Strattera.
Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs)
MAOIs were the first type of antidepressants developed. MAOIs increase levels of neurotransmitters norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine. This is believed to improve mood and lift depression. Because MAOIs can cause dangerous side effects when taken with certain foods and medications, they are prescribed only if absolutely necessary — and only if the patient follows diet restrictions. Common MAOIs include Nardil, Marplan, and Parnate.
Dangers of Antidepressants
Many people regularly take antidepressants. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 12.7 Americans age 12 and older reported taking an antidepressant within the past month. That’s a 65% increase from 1999 to 2002 when 7.7% of survey respondents reported taking antidepressants.
There is no real explanation for the significant increase in people turning to antidepressants. It could be due to our increasingly stressful society. It could be due to clever marketing campaigns by Big Pharma. But whatever the reason, Americans are apparently finding some measure of happiness in their antidepressants.
But are they really?
Many studies indicate that antidepressants are not much more effective at easing depression than those unknowingly given placebos. The “placebo effect” refers to the medical benefit people experience after receiving treatment — medication or medical treatment — that does not have any therapeutic value. The benefit appears to come from the person’s belief in the treatment. Because they believe the treatment is real, they experience real medical benefits.
Antidepressants, then, could just be expensive pills with no real ability to treat your depression. You may be thinking…as long as your depression lifts, does it really matter whether the cure came from the pill or from your mind? Well…yes, it does matter. You see, antidepressants are not just expensive little pills. They alter your brain chemistry and cause many side effects.
Common Side Effects of Antidepressants
Depending on the antidepressant, side effects can include:
- Dry mouth
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Weight Gain
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Gastrointestinal Distress
- Sleep Disturbances
Plus, should you ever want to stop taking an antidepressant, you will likely have to cope with many disturbing withdrawal symptoms, including:
- Movement Disorders
- Brain “zaps”
- Tingling or prickling sensations
- Gastrointestinal Issues
- Sleep Disturbances
- Muscle Weakness
- Suicidal Thoughts
Because of intense withdrawal symptoms, doctors recommend you never suddenly stop taking antidepressants. Instead, you should gradually reduce your dosage over a period of weeks until you can safely stop taking it.
Now let’s take a look at dementia. According to Alzheimer’s Disease International, almost 44 million people globally suffer from Alzheimer’s or similar dementia. (Approximately 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s) Further, dementia is the leading cause of disabilities in the elderly. Alzheimer’s is also the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.
We could go on an on with dire statistics regarding Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The point is that the prevalence of dementia is growing at an alarming rate. According to conventional “wisdom” and research, dementia cannot be cured, prevented, or slowed.
The symptoms of dementia are disturbing and may include:
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech.
- Memory loss without awareness of such memory loss
- Short-term memory loss
- Getting lost in familiar surroundings or forgetting how to get home
- Decreased motor function
- Increased anxiety
- Frequent changes in mood
Medications for Dementia
The only medications available for dementia ease some of the symptoms. But these medications cannot slow its progression. The two most commonly prescribed medications for dementia are cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine.
Cholinesterase inhibitors help prevent acetylcholine from breaking down. Acetylcholine is a chemical messenger in the brain essential for learning, memory, and mood. These medications appear to keep symptoms from worsening for a few months. Common cholinesterase inhibitors include Aricept, Exelon, Reminyl, and Razadyne.
Possible side effects of cholinesterase inhibitors include bruising, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps, insomnia, fatigue, and headaches.
Memantine helps balance glutamate, a chemical messenger in the brain involved with memory and learning. This medication helps memory, learning, attention, and language skills. Common brand names are Namenda, Namenda Titration Pak, and Namenda XR.
Possible side effects of memantine are confusion, constipation, headache, dizziness, fatigue, and drowsiness.
Drugs or Setpoint Diet: Which is Better for Depression or Dementia?
Science does not yet have all the answers regarding the causes of and possible cures for depression or dementia. There is still much to be learned. And we’re not advising you to stop taking any medications you’ve been prescribed for depression or dementia. However, we are asking you if the side effects of medications are worth what little gain you may be receiving from them? We are asking you to consider a better way, one that gives your body the nutrition it needs to heal your mood and your cognitive function. We’re asking you to try the setpoint diet.
The setpoint diet is a simple plan that yields BIG results. There is no hunger or deprivation. No counting calories or points. And definitely, no complicated foods or menus to remember. The setpoint diet works on a simple premise: the number one key to avoiding diabesity, depression, dementia, and many other health conditions is to enjoy MORE high-quality SANE foods.
Eat MORE, Not Less!
That’s right. On the setpoint diet, you will not focus on what NOT to eat. You’ll focus on what you should eat more of! This principle takes advantage of a very important psychological principle. Namely, when you tell your brain “don’t do something,” your brain responds by hyper-focusing on that thing.
Now think about what happens when you tell your brain not to think about a certain food. What immediately happens? You think more and more about that food. In other words, when you tell yourself, “Don’t think about X” or “Avoid X,” it’s like your brain hires a private investigator to be constantly looking for X everywhere. Want to make it as hard as possible to avoid sugar? Tell yourself, “No sugar.” What is your brain going to help you see everywhere and think about all the time? Sugar.
To get your goals working for you—rather than against you—make sure they focus you on pursuing the positive rather than attacking the negative. This approach empowers your brain to keep what you want top of mind, and you effortlessly find opportunities to lower your setpoint everywhere. Instead of experiencing life as an exhausting slog through a minefield of things to avoid, you experience life as a treasure hunt with setpoint-lowering delights wherever you look. This approach is awesome because it works with your brain—rather than against it—and thus makes reaching your goals much easier.
Setpoint Diet Foods
Now comes the fun part. All you need to do is eat more foods from four SANE food groups. The goal is to be so full of these SANE foods, you won’t have room for inSANE starchy carbs, processed foods, and sugars. SANE foods remove hormonal clogs, reduce and eliminate neurological inflammation, and rebalance gut bacteria. They fill you up fast and keep you full longer. They also trigger fat-burning hormones.
If you suffer from depression and/or dementia, you’ll find the setpoint diet a wonderful and delicious way to treat and heal these conditions.
Here are the four food groups in the setpoint diet:
- Non-Starchy Vegetables: 10+ servings per day. Fill half your plate with non-starchy veggies.
- Nutrient-Dense Protein: 3-5 servings per day., 30-55 grams per meal
- Whole-Food Fats: 3-6 servings per day
- Low-Fructose Fruits: 0-3 servings per day.
Don’t think you have to change your diet overnight. There’s no rush. Take your time. Just start out slowly, making SANE substitutions here and there. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to being 100% SANE. You’ll feel better and look better…and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to stick with the setpoint diet.
Next Step: How Can The Setpoint Diet Help Depression and Dementia? Learn More with the SANE
Ready to finally break free from the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster by balancing your hormones and lowering your body’s setpoint weight?
Want to know the exact foods and serving sizes that are scientifically proven by over 1,300 peer-reviewed research studies to boost metabolism, burn fat and enjoy virtually effortless weight loss like a naturally thin person?
Download the free SANE metabolism boosting food list, cheat sheet and “Eat More, Burn More” weight loss program by .