Although white carbs such as rice and bread make a filling component of any meal, they are not good for the body when consumed excessively. In a recent study among post-menopausal women, these types of carbohydrates can actually increase the risk of depression.
White carbs, which are sometimes called as refined carbs, are carbohydrates that have been processed heavily they have already been stripped of their nutrition. They have been associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, and other metabolic issues.
The study conducted by Columbia University Medical Centre's Psychiatry Department looked into the relationship between depression and glycemic index or load for some of the most popular types of carbohydrates. This index is a measurement of how much sugar is present in the blood by the time the food is digested or processed by the body. James Gangwisch leads the study.
For this research, they used the data gathered in an observational study carried out by the National Institutes of Health of the United States for 4 years starting in 1994. Eventually, they considered the diet and mood disorder of more than 65,000 women who were already past the menopausal stage at the time of the study.
As expected, the consumption of carbohydrates, especially white carbs, had increased the level of blood sugar. However, refined carbs have another daunting effect on the women's health.
It seems as if they trigger the release of certain bio chemicals that would then lead to symptoms that are normally associated with depression. These include a change in mood such as mood swings or irritability and fatigue.
Meanwhile, an opposite effect is seen when they looked into their consumption of vegetables and complex carbohydrates such as those rich in fiber.
The researchers are aware that they need to perform a more intensive studies including follow-up. For instance, they have to find out if the same or at least a similar result can be obtained in a broader or bigger population.
Nevertheless, they believe that the outcome of their recent study would suggest that dietary interventions may be necessary for post-menopausal women to improve their mood.