Sugar is very common in fruits. When it is consumed as part of whole fruits or food like vegetables, it is a natural sugar. However, refined or added sugars found in packaged foods and bottled drinks are not natural.
Consumption of this type of sugar is bad and unhealthy. As a matter of fact, you should aim at minimizing its consumption before the side effects affect you. A study from University College London finds that high intake of sugar is associated with poor mental health including depression.
The study says that men who are eating sugary foods like cakes and confectionery along with drinks loaded with added sugar are at high risk of depression. Hence, it is time to replace sugary foods and drinks with mood-boosting foods, which provide good nourishment to the body, too.
Initially, the scientists were investigating whether the trigger for men to eat more foods because they feel depressed. However, it was not the case. Instead, the researchers found strong association consumption of a high amount of sugar and depression in men.
Those who are consuming 67grams of sugar per day, which is the highest intake have 23% increase of developing common mental disorder after 5 years than those who are consuming less amount of sugar, 39.5 grams.
What About Women?
Surprisingly, in this study, the researchers did not find any bad influence of sugar on mood disorders in women. However, Anika Knüppel, lead author of the study warns that;
There is increasing evidence for the physical damage sugar has on our health. Our work suggests an additional mental health effect.
On the other hand, while in this study, the researchers did not find any strong evidence of added sugar for mood disorders in women, the American Heart Association warns about it.
Junk Foods Cause Depression
Junk foods are laden with a high amount of added sugars. Most of the time, the sugar contained in these foods are artificial and unnatural. For instance, many sugary drinks and snacks have high fructose corn syrup in them.
Moreover, one study2 finds that junk foods may lead to an increased risk for new onset depression in post menopausal women.
Here’s the author of the study, James Gangwisch, PhD. of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.
In another study3, researchers find eating way too much refined carbohydrates like corn syrup causes an upward trend in Type 2 diabetes.
Overcoming Depression With Diet
Fortunately, foods containing healthy fats are essential to restoring health due to depression. It means that good nutrition or a healthy diet is valuable to overcoming depression.
For instance, eating a non-inflammatory diet like the Mediterranean diet is a good option.