A diet high in refined carbohydrates increases the risk of depression in some people, a new study finds.
Refined carbohydrates include foods like white bread, white rice and soda.
These foods have a high glycemic index, which causes a hormonal reaction in the body.
The hormone may, in turn, increase fatigue, mood changes and symptoms of depression.
The study looked at 70,000 post-menopausal women who were followed over a period of four years.
The researchers found that consumption of more refined grains and sugars was linked to depression.
Women who ate more vegetables, whole grains, dietary fibre and non-juice fruit, however, had a lower risk of depression.
The study’s authors write:
“The consumption of sweetened beverages, refined foods, and pastries has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of depression in longitudinal studies.
The results from this study suggest that high-GI diets could be a risk factor for depression in postmenopausal women.”
The research was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Gangwisch et al., 2015).
Image credit: Brandon Warren