A surprising new study has found that white bread and refined sugars are causing big problems for post-menopausal women when it comes to depression.
Alarming new research has found the white bread and refined foods like snacks and sodas can lead to depression in addition to obesity.
A research team led by Dr. James Gangwisch at Columbia University Medical Center has found that this is particularly true in post-menopausal women, according to a CBS report.
The team examined the dietary glycemic index, glycemic load, and the types of carbohydrates of 70,000 post-menopausal women and then looked at other illnesses, like depression. They used the National Institutes of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, which was conducted between 1994 and 1998.
High dietary GI scores and the consumption of refined grains, like those found in white bread, as well as added sugars was associated with new-onset depression in post-menopausal women, the research found. Meanwhile, such women who ate plenty of dietary fiber, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and dairy showed a reduced risk of depression.
So why is this the case? Carbohydrates tend to increase the level of blood sugar, and the more highly refined the carb is, the higher it will get on the glycemic index. White bread, white rice, and soda are particularly guilty of this, causing a spike in blood sugar levels that can worsen mood changes and result in symptoms like fatigue and other characteristics of depression.
In addition, eating refined starches and sugars can increase the risk of cardiovacular disease, which have also been implicated as a factor in depression.
More research will be needed to demonstrate a stronger link, but it does provide some new leads on some dietary changes that could be made to prevent depression from taking hold. The team wants a bigger study on a larger population to come to some more nuanced answers on this question.