Refined carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread, white rice, candy and most sweetened junk foods, may harm more than the waistlines of older women.  Increased consumption of carbohydrates has been known to have a measurable negative effect on health.

However, whether carbohydrates increases the risk of depression has not been established.  A new research is showing that eating too much of these highly-processed foods might also raise their risk of depression.

? Study + Summary

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether there is a potential correlation between dietary glycemic index (GI), glycemic load, types of carbohydrates consumed, and rates of depression in postmenopausal women.

The study involved more than 70,000 women aged 50 to 79.  The findings only show an association between “refined carbs” and elevated depression risk, rather than a direct cause-and-effect relationship.

The researchers also set out to look at this dynamic in reverse.  To see whether consuming refined carbs actually raises depression risk among women with no recent history of mental illness.

RESULTS – Increased dietary GI scores and intake of added sugars and refined grains were linked to an increased risk of depression while a higher consumption of dietary fiber, whole grains, vegetables, and non-juice fruits were associated with a lower risk of depression.

CONCLUSIONS – These results raise important concerns on how our diets can directly impact our mental health.  Although more studies are needed, depression may be prevented with a diet low in carbohydrates and high in vegetables, soluble fiber and whole grains.

? Reference

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2015/06/24/ajcn.114.103846.abstract