Sugar consumption may increase depression risk

Spanish and English researchers recently published a study in The British Journal of Nutrition, showing a connection between sugar consumption and depression risk.

The researchers reviewed the diet and mental health of over 15,500 university graduates. They assessed diet at baseline and again a decade later.

Regarding diet, they specifically examined 3 areas of sugar consumption:

  1. Added sugars
  2. Sweetened drinks
  3. Overall carbohydrate quality index

A better CQI involved higher consumption of whole grains, fibre, low glycemic index foods, and solid carbohydrates. A poorer CQI, unsurprisingly, involved lower consumption of whole grains, fibre, low glycemic index foods, and solid carbohydrates.

What the researchers found was that the group of participants with the highest consumption of added sugars also had a higher risk of depression. Likewise, those with the highest CQI were 30% less likely to experience depression compared to the group with the poorest CQI.

This study joins a growing body of research showing a strong connection between nutrition and mental health. Here at Truehope, we’ve been promoting nutrition as mental health treatment for over 20 years.

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