divorce diet

The stress and strain of divorce can cause a host of physical and mental health problems for men.

For one reason or another, men seem to face higher risks of both mental and physical health problems after a divorce. Some of those risks can be quite severe. One study found that divorce can increase the rate of early mortality in men by up to 250 percent.

Now, a new study recently published in Social Science Medicine, indicates that ending a marriage could lead to a less healthy diet for men.

The study, which was conducted in the United Kingdom and included 11,577 participants aged approximately 40 to 80, assessed the health of participants’ diets over 10 years by measuring the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables consumed.

While women’s diets did not change significantly, men whose marriage ended during the study reduced their consumption of fruits and vegetables by about 25% compared to men who remained married.

These findings could have significant ramifications for divorced men as a lack of fruits and vegetables leads to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The study’s lead author, Pablo Monsivais, told the Wall-Street Journal that the findings weren’t surprising considering the societal norms of the demographic examined.

“For this generation, born in the 1920s to 1960s, food skills and behaviors would have been highly gendered, with women having primary responsibility for shopping and preparing meals,” he said.

Of course, following a disheartening breakup, it’s very tempting for guys to turn to comfort foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt. However, these foods tend to have the opposite effect and can even elevate depression.

Although cooking can be rather time consuming, it is important to plan your meals in advance and make sure they include plenty of fruits and veggies, which are high in healthy vitamins.

Related: 6 Meal Planning Tips For Divorced Dads

Furthermore, it is crucial to incorporate daily exercise into your routine. Numerous studies have linked exercise to a positive boost in mood and lower rate of depression. Just 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise can have significant benefits.

As tempting as it is to fall into unhealthy habits after a divorce, it is extremely important to avoid those kinds of behaviors as they can prolong and derail your divorce recovery.