man with depression

Six (6) Facts about How Sugar can Make You Depressed

May 18, 2018

If you’ve a sweet tooth, you don’t have only reasons of weight gain and diabetes to worry about. You should worry about mood disorders too, such as depression. Yes, eating excessive sugar can make you depressed. Earth’s Wisdom today wants to throw light on this very important facet of our food.

We all know that when we’re hungry, we feel irritated, depressed and unfocused. However, if you try to resolve these problems by eating something sweet, the problems may worsen.

Sugar can be simple or complex. Sugars that occur in vegetables, fruits and grains are complex, while those in refined foods like cakes, bread, pasta, candy, soda, baked goodies etc. are simple and easy to digest. Simple sugars pose the risk of depression and many other chronic disorders. So, if your diet is full of simple sugars, beware! Here’s what bad it can do to you.

1. Refined Carbohydrates (Sugars) and Depression

Scientists in London have found that a diet packed with whole vegetables, fruits and fish can reduce your risk of depression in middle age. Their study reveals that those who ate refined foods such as fried foods, sweetened desserts and processed meats had more chances to be diagnosed with depression than those who depend largely upon whole, unrefined foods.

2. Sugar is More Addictive Even than Cocaine

A study on rats revealed that sweet receptors in brain are not adapted to continuous and heavy amounts of sugar. This powerful sweetness can trigger brain’s reward center and may offer more pleasure than cocaine, even to drug addicts. Thus, the high from sugar is more powerful than that from cocaine. The self-control system of a person cannot match sugar’s strength.

3. Sugar is Connected to Inflammation which is In Turn Associated to Depression

Foods that are rich in vegetables and fruits may lessen inflammation in your tissues, while foods rich in refined carbs (including sugars) may trigger inflammation.

Chronic inflammation is associated to many serious health issues such as cancer, metabolic disorder and asthma. According to one study, inflammation may be associated to depression.

Inflammation and depression have many symptoms in common, including:

  • Change of sleep patterns
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased perception of pain

Therefore, depression may show an underlying inflammation problem.

4. Insulin may Treat Depression

Scientists are so sure about the link between sugar and depression that they are trying to use insulin to treat depression. They found in a study that those suffering from severe depression as well as insulin resistance got their depression symptoms improved when they were treated with diabetes medications for 12 weeks. The results were especially strong in younger subjects.

5. Men are at Higher Risk of Sugar’s Bad Effects

Sugar’s mental health effects can be more prominent in men than women. Researchers have found in a study that men who consumed 67gm or more of sugar per day were 23% more prone to suffer from depression after 5 years, whereas men who consumed 40gm or less of sugar were at a lower risk of depression.

6. Commercial Baked Goodies Linked to Depression

Pastries, muffins and other such commercial baked goodies you may love to eat for their excellent taste may in fact promote depression. Spanish scientist found people who ate mostly baked goods were at a 38% higher risk of depression than those who ate less amount of baked food. Here trans fats have a role to play according to the researchers.

What can You Do?

If you are constantly experiencing signs of depression, discuss with your doctor. Depression is treatable. You should first know your options. Your doctor may suggest medical treatment and also psychotherapy. Along with this, you should also adopt lifestyle changes, including:

  • Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meat
  • Exercise

Plus, try to cut back on foods containing processed sugar such as baked goodies, soda, coffee drinks and energy drinks. Instead of commercial juice drinks and smoothies, drink more of water and unsweetened drinks. Prefer healthier sweets like fruits, dates etc.

If you inculcate healthier habits, you’ll get rid of the sugary trap and become healthy physically as well as mentally.

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