Excessive consumption of carbohydrates in general has been linked to a wide range of health problems, from obesity to diabetes and even certain types of cancer. Refined carbs are among the most hated categories in terms of diet and healthy lifestyle.
Many nutritionists would say that processed foods that contain a high amount of refined carbohydrates only give our body a high number of empty calories that provide no or very few nutrients.
A new study that was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that refined carbohydrates might be even more dangerous than previously thought.
According to a research led by scientists at the Columbia University Medical Center, post menopausal women who eat a lot of food containing refined carbs are more likely to suffer from depression in the future.
This might sound surprising to some people, given the fact that food high in carbohydrates is generally considered “comfort food”, that we usually eat when we feel sad, cold or depressed.
The study involved an analysis of data provided by the National Institutes of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, which was carried out between 1994 and 1998. This data was collected from 70,000 women who were in their post-menopausal stage. These were also surveyed for three years afterwards.
The authors of the study looked at the connection between their glycemic index and the types of carbs they consumed, while they compared the depression rates with this index.
They found that the consumption of refined carbohydrates affected their glycemic index in a different way that standard carbohydrates did. It was then revealed that a shift in this glycemic index led to them being increasingly moody and depressed.
Thus, the higher their glycemic index was, the more likely they were to suffer from these symptoms. The numbers showed that women who consumed a large quantity of highly refined carbohydrates were 22 percent more at risk of becoming depressed. If sugar in excess was consumed as well, their chances of suffering from depression mounted to 23 percent.
Thus, it is safe to say that food does have a role in keeping us both healthy and happy. A regular intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole-meal cereals, fish and nuts eliminates the risk of developing depression-like symptoms.
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