A certain blogosphere loudmouth has begun blaming a VLC diet for irritability in its proponents. Truth be told, the mood-influencing qualities of diet are PROFOUND -- but not at all as claimed by the trolls.
I'm not the one who should be posting on this subject. I have no technical qualifications in the health fields: as i've said before, what i write here is only a report of what HAS or has NOT worked FOR ME. Wooo has the medical background, insight from her own experiences, and what she has learned from her particular studies, inspired by people and situations which particularly interest her. Sidereal has insider information which comes of her doctoral studies in psychology, and Minijumb and Kim also have professional qualifications. THEY should be the ones to present just exactly what happens and how/why -- all i "know" is what i've experienced.
When i was eating a "standard-but-clean" diet of ordinary foods -- lots of those healthy fruits and vegetables, and whole grain, home-made breads and other cereal products -- my mood was a lot more variable. I didn't have an anxiety disorder, but felt a modicum of anxiety on a regular basis (i'm a born worrier, which Chris Masterjohn describes as one of the poles of speed-of-dopamine-methylation, in the worrier/warrior spectrum). I had significant brain-fog in the morning which dissipated as the day progressed. I never had significant PMS, thank the gods! only discomfort from the water retention.
The very first benefit i noticed from beginning Atkins, lo those many years ago, was that the morning fog completely disappeared. All other noticible results were physical. It wasn't until i went ketogenic that i observed "psychological" changes -- i started converting from worrier to warrior. From a serotonin-oriented person, i've been moving in the dopaminergic direction, especially since i've been encouraging dopamine with mucuna and nicotine and ... probably other components of my diet.
This bring us to more cultural standards of behavior when it comes to acting on one's mental state...
The world has never had much affection for strong women, but of course the great women of history never gave a damn if they were liked and appreciated or not. These qualities are closely associated with hormone and neurotransmitter levels, and are influenced by diet and environment. Female hormones contribute to gentleness and placation, depression and anxiety; male hormones toward fearlessness, risk-taking and self-confidence. NEWS FLASH: a lot of men HATE it when women display the latter characteristics! "Inferior" men want their women weak, stupid and ... inferior, because it's the only way THEY can feel SUperior.
Western society has tried to train women to be docile, obedient and subservient. Religion and civil law prohibiting certain types of behavior provided the strong-arm to bully half the population into self-inhibition. Wealthier women, who have more leisure, educational opportunities, entitled attitude and sheer wherewithal to do whatever they want, require a more stealthy technique to wheedle them to do as paternalistic society wants -- therefore, we have this set of guidelines saying "this is how 'ladies' behave: if you don't follow the rules, you are no 'lady' and therefore can be mistreated with impunity."
This was particularly effective with the rising middle class. The etiquette books were invented for their benefit after all -- upper classes were brought up with the examples of those around them as guides to behavior, and the lower ones didn't have the luxury of choice. But to be taken seriously, the genteel-but-impoverished HAD to use their manners as indication of quality, and the nouveau riche to keep open the doors that their money made accessible in the first place. Manners maketh the man. Pretty is as pretty does.
The twentieth century upset the status quo in this respect, and we see anti-feminists today doing their damnedest to reverse the tide. Modern young women have been brainwashed to think that "feminists" are extremists and "the enemy" -- which is just sad. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century feminism is what originally promoted their rights to pursue whatever course they desire, and a lot of them don't know what they owe those women who came before. Hell, the right to vote is less than a hundred years old in the USA, and reproductive rights are significantly younger ... and THREATENED.
It's a truism that "well-behaved women don't make history." "Well-behaved" women are usually treated as doormats, because our culture doesn't actually value them as individuals -- only as accessories. Women with "masculine" traits are treated seriously; assertive, self-protective women are often considered less "womanly" or "ladylike" and their deportment is decried by males who feel threatened by them. Double-edged sword -- be nice and be ignored or regarded contemptuously, or stand up for yourself and be labelled a bitch. Women in relationships frequently have to alternate humoring and raging behaviors to even be HEARD.
So in response to the loud-mouthed blog-troll i spoke of, it isn't our diets which cause us to become irritable; the "breakup" is not about us, it's about YOU, after all. You are a childish jerk, and we're not your mommy. We have no incentive to put up with your BS, and therefore we won't. We'll tell you exactly what we think of you whether you like it or not. We'll BAN your ass if you talk back on OUR platforms, and ignore you elsewhere.
Dopamine is a wonderful thing -- it encourages us to do what we wanted to, all along.