In our modern American society, anxiety, stress, and depression can play a large role with respect to work, relationships, and money. In fact, 33.9 percent of adults report having poor mental health, according to the Kaiser Family Health Foundation. Many people eat when they're depressed, but few realize that what they eat may be at the cause of their woes.

A report by food campaigner Sustain and the Mental Health Foundation found that dietary changes over the past 100 years may be one of the reasons behind the rise in mental health problems. Although there are many factors that may contribute to a person's emotional state, a good way to help boost your mental—and physical—health is by eating well-balanced meals. And stay away from the following diets

The Low-Fat Diet

It's the name of the diet, yet many interpret "low-fat" as "no-fat." Despite the many fad dieters who try to cut out fat altogether, it's important to remember that there are such things as good fats. Omega-3 fats from salmon, herring, flax seeds, and nuts aid in both physical and mental health. A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to depression, anxiety, aggressiveness, and insomnia. A study conducted by Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry found that diets rich in omega-3 fats help improve brain functionality and overall mood. Another consequence of the "no-fat" diet is low levels of cholesterol. Yes, having high cholesterol is bad for your heart; however, having cholesterol levels that are too low have been linked to impulsive and violent behavior, according to research conducted at the Psychiatric Clinic, Charles University of Prague

Low-Carb Diet

"Low-carb" diets, such as Atkin's and the South Beach Diet, have been popular fad diets. In a survey conducted by the International Food Information Council, 55 percent of U.S. adults said they were avoiding or eating fewer sugars and carbohydrates. What's troubling about the low-carb craze is that it can result in a low mood as well. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Clinical Research Center reports that a lack of dietary carbohydrates causes the brain to stop regulating serotonin, which is the chemical in the brain responsible for controlling mood, anger, aggression, and body temperature. Researchers discovered that serotonin is naturally produced only after consumption of carbohydrates in the form of sweets and starches. A study published in the journal Appetite found when people prone to stress consumed foods high in carbohydrates, they reacted more calmly during stressful situation than when they consumed high-protein foods

Starvation Diet

It seems like a no-brainer: "Not eating is not healthy." However, in an effort to cut calories, some dieters are using the dangerous tactic of skipping meals or starving themselves to lose weight. Aside from the risk of malnutrition and other physical issues, starvation diets can have a major effect on a person's psyche. Without proper sustenance a person's blood sugar lowers, creating feelings of irritability, anger, depression, and a lack of energy. What's more, women who partake in starvation diets that limit or completely restrict the intake of fats can disrupt their menstrual cycles, resulting in greater risk of mood swings and feelings of depression

The Vegetarian Diet

The vegetarian lifestyle is often associated with a healthy lifestyle. A study conducted by the German Cancer Research Center found that vegetarian mortality is 50 percent lower among men and 30 percent lower among women—which means vegetarians live longer on average. Although research finds that physical health is superior among vegetarians, mental health does not necessarily follow suit. Two studies performed by the University of Helsinki found that vegetarian and semivegetarian women had lower self-esteem and more symptoms of depression and eating disorders than omnivorous women. Furthermore, vegetarian women had a more negative view of the world than their semivegetarian and omnivorous peers. The exact reasoning behind these feelings is debatable; however, diets that are low in iron have been found to cause chronic depression, which may explain the pessimism among vegetarians.