Can Excess Sugar Cause Depression?

Picture your little one getting cranky. One of the first things, you may do is to check is if he/she is hungry. It is a no-brainer that foods affect our mood and emotions and it also has long-term implications for our health.

Sugars exist in complex carbohydrates including fruits, grains, and vegetables. And, it is present in some of our favourite foods like cakes, pasta, soda, bread or even baked goods. Eating simple sugars could increase the risk for depression and also cause mood disorders or other chronic health concerns. The linking between sugars causing depression has been reiterated in a study conducted by James Gangwisch and his team in the department of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Centre, who pointed out that high-GI food including processed foods and sugar-added soft drinks, could increase the risk. Here are some insights into the linkage of sugar causing depression.

Depression linked with refined carbohydrates

A diet that is rich in whole foods including fish, fruits and vegetables could reduce the risk of depression, reiterated by researchers in London. Apart from which, the researchers also highlighted that processed foods like fried foods, sweetened desserts, or processed meats could increase the likelihood of depression.

Sugar can cause inflammation and depression

A diet that is high in refined carbs could increase inflammation in the body’s tissues. And, according to a study, inflammation could be linked to depression. Some of the symptoms that are common with depression and inflammation include changes in sleep patterns, loss of appetite, and increased perceptions of pain.

Sugar can be addictive

Too much sugar can be very addictive, actually more pleasurable than cocaine. And, the intense sweetness could stimulate the reward centre of the brain and create a more delightful feeling higher than cocaine.

Type of carb impact depression

A study highlighted that it’s not the quantity or quality of carbs that matter, but the type of carbs which increase the risk of depression. So, researchers introduced a glycemic index (GI) score to analyze foods, and high GI scores are indicative of raising blood sugar levels and had a higher risk of depression than individuals who consumed lower-GI foods.

A lifestyle change and a healthy diet could help quit sugar. A diet inclusive of vegetables, lean meats, fruits, and whole grains could help. Apart from which, regular exercise is advocated. A conscious effort to cut out sources like sugar-sweetened beverages and choosing quality carbs would help in giving up sugar.

In conclusion, the best way to prevent depression is to proactively reduce the risk factors. So, be mindful of your sugar cravings and switch to a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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