Under the Hood

Quite Moody During The Holidays? Here’s How To Counter It

Sugar
Both white and brown sugar came from either the sugarcane or sugar beet plant but they have different properties. Pixabay

At this point, we’re all aware that if we want to keep our physical health at its best (or healthy), it’s best to watch our sugar intake and limit it or avoid it completely if it can be helped. And now, a recent study from University of Kansas adds one more reason to avoid sugar: there is a link between eating it and depression.

Sugar and Depression

Titled “The Depressogenic Potential of Added Dietary Sugars,” the new study discovered that our depression symptoms can be worsened by eating foods that have high levels of added sugars. And since the holiday season is here, it’s more likely that we’ll be indulging in sugary and sweet foods, which can increase our depression and make us quite moody during this time of the year.

Per the researchers, the study sets out to expand what we know about the overall impact of sugar on our health, which as it appears, is quite limited in its scope. Furthermore, to assess sugar intake’s relationship with mood, the study used data from the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study, the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, a study of Spanish university graduates and studies of Australian and Chinese soda drinkers .

The researchers also pointed out that the holiday season coincides with the time of year when around 10 million Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

"One common characteristic of winter-onset depression is craving sugar," Stephen Ilardi, a professor of clinical psychology at the university, said.

According to them, this is because falling moods can push us to reach for more sweets, which can help lift up our mood, repeating the cycle and temptation over and over.

"They have an immediate mood-elevating effect, but in high doses they can also have a paradoxical, pernicious longer-term consequence of making mood worse," Ilardi explained. "There's no one-size-fits-all approach to predicting exactly how any person's body will react to any given food at any given dose."

The researchers recommend it’s important to be aware of our cravings and to prefer eating healthier food for this holiday.

Sugar Both white and brown sugar came from either the sugarcane or sugar beet plant but they have different properties. Pixabay

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