Dietary habits are more controversial than ever nowadays, that we are exposed to extremely messy eating routines and high amounts of chemical substances which enhance the taste of foods but fail to provide the nutrients which keep our bodies running. When hunger hits, the easiest road to satisfaction is a sandwich or a pretzel or a snack, basically something that can generally be defined as “carbs”.
According to a new study, consuming refined carbohydrates may lead to depression. The interesting finding was highlighted by a team of researchers at Columbia University which revealed that depression related to high carbs consumption is predominantly related to postmenopausal women. Increasing dietary intake can offset this risk, however.
Scientists concluded that foods such as white rice, white bread and soda are prone to trigger a certain hormonal response in the body which makes sugar levels go extremely low. Low sugar levels also cause extreme mood changes, fatigue and other symptoms closely related to depression.
Blood sugar levels are affected by consumption of carbohydrates to relative degrees, depending on the type of food we choose to eat. Carbs are not bad all the way, as fibers can help us though digestion and offer us that necessary daily dose of energy boost. But the more highly refined carbs are, the higher is the score on the glycemic index scale, which normally goes from 0 to 100 and measures the amount of sugar found in blood after eating.
Findings are based on an extended study that involved more than 70.000 postmenopausal women who participated in the National Institutes of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, between 1994 and 1998.
What we must learn from this piece of research is that when hunger hits, we’d rather eat a fruit and let that easy breezy snack aside, if we want to keep away from deep sadness, fatigue and anguish. Depression is a very sneaky, sophisticated, hard to diagnosis and deceitful affection and we should try to avoid it as much as possible. It is already enough that we are exposed to stress factors on a daily basis, starting with the moment when we get out of bed and check our schedule until late in the night, when we already start to worry about the next morning.
On the other hand, dietary fiber, vegetables, whole grains and fruits are associtated with low levels of depression. So, although white carbs heighten risk to develop depression, a balance can be established if we manage to compensate with less processed, natural foods.
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