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Study Hall: Can red meat make you a happier person?

red meatFor Study Hall each week, we sort through the deluge of new medical studies and wordy white papers to bring you one that deserves your attention—in plain, healthy English.

In January, Dr. Drew Ramsey told us that grass-fed beef was one of his top ten foods for happiness, and a new study may back up his choice.

The study, published online on March 17 in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, found that women who ate three to four servings of red meat per week had less anxiety and depression than those who ate fewer servings.

The study: Researchers from Deakin University in Australia examined red meat consumption and the presence of anxiety or depression in a group of approximately 1,000 women.

The results: Women who ate less than the recommended amount of beef and lamb were twice as likely to have anxiety or depression as those who ate the recommended servings. Interestingly, eating too much red meat was also linked to anxiety and depression.

What it means: Please don’t use this as a reason to wait in line for an hour at Shake Shack, but a grass-fed steak once in a while may boost your mood. While the study shows an association between moderate red meat intake and psychological health, the authors caution that further research needs to be done before recommendations can be made. And there are still lots of reasons to focus on veggies. —Allison Becker