Another study comes to strengthen the amount of evidence that refined carbohydrates intake is linked to mental and physical health issues.
A high refined carbohydrate intake was correlated to a higher risk of onset depression, particularly for postmenopausal women. The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Psychiatry of the Medical Center at Columbia University.
Ph.D. James Gangwisch and fellow researchers relied on data gathered under the umbrella of the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study.
The data was collected from 1994 to 1998 from 87,618 women. Only 69,954 women participated in the follow-up interview three years later.
Based on this data, the researchers found that consuming refined carbs in high amounts, typically stemming from junk food, white bread, white rice, etc. is correlated with higher risk of onset depression.
These foods, rich in refined carbohydrates are also rich in sugar. As the level of blood sugar increases, hormonal responses are targeting the lowering of blood sugar levels, whilst also affecting mood. Typically, this will results in depression, fatigue or other mood disorders.
According to the research, as the glycemic index increased, so did the risk of onset depression. Overall, a progressively increasing glycemic index resulted in 22 percent increase of the risk to develop depression.
Adding more sugars to one’s diet resulted in a 23 percent increase of the risk to develop depression or mood disorders.
The same study looked at healthier alternatives and dietary habits, including whole grains, fiber, vegetables, as well as fruit intake not coming from processed fruit juices. According to the researchers, a diet based on these alternatives rather than refined carbohydrates decreased the risk of onset depression or mood disorders.
While this study is only preliminary, it adds to the alarm signals regarding high intake of refined carbs and the adverse effects on both mental and physical health. The research team expects that the study will be replicated to include a larger population samples, perhaps including men as well as women.
The study features in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
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