Sugar Consumption & Depression
This news comes from a University of Kansas study linking sugar consumption to depression. In addition, the effects of limited sunlight this time of the year can also have a negative influence on mental health. If you’re prone to seasonal depression, you might want to avoid sweet holiday treats, says Stephen Ilardi, associate professor of clinical psychology, noting that craving sweets is a common characteristic of winter-onset depression.
The Kansas team analyzed research on the physiological and psychological effects of increased sugar consumption and concluded that sweets act like a drug. “They have an immediate mood-elevating effect, but in high doses they can also have a paradoxical, pernicious longer-term consequence of making mood worse, reducing well-being, elevating inflammation and causing weight gain,” Ilardi said. Based on current knowledge, the researchers recommend sticking to the American Heart Association guideline limiting sugar intake to 25 grams or less per day.
Stephen S. Ilardi et al, “The depressogenic potential of added dietary sugars.” Medical Hypotheses, 2020; 134: 109421 DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2019.109421
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