Study: Eating Too Many Carbs Can Make You Depressed

Are you a woman who loves to eat lots of white bread or rice? If you do, then you may want to read this.

A new research study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that weight gain isn’t the only risk factor as a result of eating carbohydrates. Women suffering from post-menopause have increased chances of developing depression after consuming a diet high of white bread, soda, sugar, or rice.

The whole process works like this: carbohydrates can cause a hormonal response which tells the body to decrease blood sugar levels, thus altering the mood, Psych Central reported.

Individuals with lower blood sugar levels from increased carbs may attract symptoms of fatigue, anxiety, hunger, irritability, loss of pleasure, and sadness. Moreover, as Psych Central points out, the more concentrated a carbohydrate is, the higher it will score on the glycemic index (GI) scale. This scale measures blood sugar levels from a range of 0-100.

The study originated from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) where James Gangwisch, Ph.D., along with his colleagues, reviewed data on 70,000 postmenopausal women, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Among the participants who were studied, women aged 50 to 79 made up the entire demographic. According to Gangwisch, the study demonstrated that a strong link between carbs and depression exists.

“But it is already well known that people who suffer from depression tend to crave carbohydrates.”

When preparing for the study, researchers made sure that none of the participants had any history of substance abuse, depression, mood swings, or any mental illness — three years before the study.

Furthermore, Gangwisch elaborated more on the new study.

“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.”

For younger women or men, the results of refined carbs are on the opposite side of the coin. According to health experts, depression develops only in older women after hormonal changes.

All in all, the study concluded that the more refined the carbs are, the more chance you have of suffering from depression-like symptoms.

Health experts are continuing to explore the relationship between nutrition and mental illnesses. There is still a lot of ground to cover, however, understanding carbs and depression is just another step closer to understanding the human brain.

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