These Foods Naturally INCREASE Depression – Avoid Them!

By on August 17, 2015
For a slimmer waistline, avoiding refined carbohydrates are a must, say health experts.

But now these bad carbs–which include white bread, pasta, and junk food–could have even more serious implications for women over the age of 50.

According to new research from Columbia University, women over the age of 50 who eat a diet rich in refined carbohydrates face a higher risk of developing depression, a common but serious mental illness. However, eating whole grains, the opposite of refined carbohydrates, appears to have the opposite effect by reducing this risk.

Now researchers say women should stop eating refined carbohydrates, especially if they’re already at risk of depression.

“It is already well known that people who suffer from depression tend to crave carbohydrates,” says James Gangwisch, author of the study and an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Columbia University. “One likely explanation is spikes and troughs in blood sugar [levels] that result from the consumption of these foods. Blood sugar that is too high induces an elevated insulin [hormonal] response that can lower blood sugar to levels that induce a hormonal counter-regulatory response.”

Studying over 70,000 women between the ages of 50 to 79, researchers specifically studied those who did not have a history of substance abuse, depression, or another type of mental illness, something which would have predisposed them to major depression. Researchers wanted to examine how their diet habits affected their risk instead.

Examining questionnaires about their diet habits, they specifically looked at their consumption of refined carbohydrates, something indicated in previous studies to heighten the risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes.

They then examined how many of them eventually developed major depression.

As it turned out, eating more refined carbohydrates was a significant risk factor–increasing their depression risk despite no previous history of the disease.

But why? Gangwisch isn’t sure, but he theorizes refined carbohydrates spike blood glucose, leading to a rise in anxiety, hunger, and irritability.

“The result can be a rise in anxiety, irritability and hunger. Similarly, plunging blood sugar levels often translate into fatigue,” says Gangwisch. “[I] would presume that our results could also apply to men, although I cannot say definitively.”

What This Means For You

Not surprisingly, researchers recommend this: Lay off the refined carbohydrates. Not only can it increase your diabetes risk, it can make you depressed too–a double whammy.

Your best bet?  Cut out the refined carbs and start eating more whole grain products instead.

“The important outcome to me, as a registered dietitian, is that the women who consumed diets higher in vegetables, fruits and whole grains had a lower incidence of depression,” says Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University.

Readers: What do you usually eat when you feel depressed?

Could Too Many Refined Carbs Make You Depressed?
Diet High in Refined Carbohydrates Could Increase Risk of Depression in Postmenopausal Women, Research
High Glycemic Index Diet as a Risk Factor For Depression: Analyses From the Women’s Health

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