A strong relationship between sugar and depression.
Recently, upon waking up in the morning, we started reading the weekend newspaper (Svenska Dagbladet) and saw that Henrik Ennarts had written an article about the relationship between sugar and depression.
Finally! For a long time now we have been experiencing a global epidemic of depression that is causing tremendous suffering, and yet we still lack effective treatment methods. Only 50 percent of antidepressant drugs work, and many can also cause serious side effects. Obviously, this article is a wake-up call. Looking into it a bit further, we noticed that there have been two different studies, conducted as recently as August 2017, that for the first time show a direct link between sugar and depression.
One of the studies shows that people who consume more than 67 grams of sugar per day increase the risk of poor mental health (such as depression and anxiety) significantly (by 23 percent). The study was led by the big MooDFOOD project, an initiative sponsored by the European Commission, which aims to research the relationship between food and mental health.
The second study affirms the idea that you shouldn’t consume more then 60 grams of sugar per day. That study was conducted by Spanish researchers, and was based on the so-called SUN study, in which nearly 20,000 participants were observed since 1993. Same story there: they observed an increased risk of depression in those who consumed more than 60 grams of added sugar daily in drinks, sweets and pastries.
In Sweden, more than a third of the general population consumes over 60 grams of sugar per day, which equals about 20 pieces of sugar. This threshold can be reached easily – for example by drinking two cans of soda, eating fruit-yoghurt with cereals, drinking a glass of sweet fruit juice, or treating yourself to half a cup of candy or a regular-size chocolate bar. But, considering all the hidden sugar that comes with today’s food products, it’s even easier to hit the risk zone – without knowing that you’ve eaten any sugar at all.
Well, we are trying to focus on the good news: in the second study, it was observed that those who ate whole wheat and other fiber-rich carbohydrates reduced their risk of depression by 30 percent. In other words: Fiber (and vegetables) to the People! And also, think maybe it’s about time to start seeing diet as an independent treatment method for depression and anxiety?
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