La Trobe diet plan for depression

A La Trobe University researcher has released new details about a diet she developed to help adults with major depressive illness.

The ModiMedDiet is the brainchild of PhD student Rachelle Opie from the La Trobe University School of Allied Health.

A modified version of the traditional Mediterranean diet, the ModiMedDiet has received widespread international interest following its use in world first research that showed it could improve the mood and symptoms of adults with severe depression.

“As far as we know this is a first dietary plan that has been developed and successfully delivered by dieticians for adults with major depression,” Ms Opie said.

“Depression is a global problem and there is a need to find new ways to treat it so people are naturally interested in knowing more about the ModiMedDiet.

“Now that we have evidence to show that it is possible to treat depression through dietary counselling, it’s important that we share what we have learnt.

“We believe dieticians should be funded to deliver dietary plans like ours to help improve the lives of adults affected by severe depression.”

Ms Opie has published a detailed description of the ModiMedDiet in Nutritional Neuroscience journal.

“The article should serve as a tool kit for other dieticians. It includes information on how I developed the diet, detailed results of the research, meal plans and tips for following the ModiMedDiet.

“The diet was designed to be easy to follow, sustainable, practical and considerate of individual circumstances.

“It is rich in fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals and includes increased consumption of oily fish, legumes, raw, unsalted nuts and seed and extra olive oil.

“We also recommend a moderate consumption of natural dairy products and lean red meat.”

Ms Opie’s Top 10 Tips to follow the ModiMedDiet:

1. Select fruits, vegetables and nuts as a snack - have three serves of fruit and 30g (1.5 tbsp.) of unsalted nuts daily

2. Include vegetables with every meal - eat leafy greens and tomatoes every day

3. Select whole grain breads and cereals -servings based on your activity levels

4. Eat legumes 3 to 4 times per week

5. Eat oily fish at least 2 times per week

6. Eat lean red meat 3 to 4 times per week - limit serve sizes to 65 – 100g

7. Include 2 to 3 serves of dairy every day - select reduced fat products and natural yoghurt

8. Use olive oil as the main added fat - include 60mls (3 tbsp.) of extra virgin olive oil daily

9. Sweets for special occasions only

10. Water is the best drink

Media Contact - Anastasia Salamastrakis – 0428 195 464