In today’s culture, we’ll do anything to eliminate calorie and sugar intake. Most food and drinks have ingredient substitutes in them to make them “healthier.” They taste exactly the same but include none of the regrets. There are now diet versions of almost every product. Diet soda, fat free dairy and calorie reduced breads. But what are these substitutes actually doing to our health? A recent article by Psychology Today discusses the correlation between diet and depression.
Research on Diet and Depression
Research has shown that diet and depression are linked. What you consume in diet can drastically effect your chances of depression. Research has also found that diet drinks can have significant effects on depression. Most diet drinks are made from chemicals that are produced in a lab. While these chemicals seem generally safe, they have been recently linked to depression.
Researchers analyzed data from a health study to examine the relationship between depression and sweetened drinks, including fruit drinks, soft drinks, coffee, iced tea and tea. Examples of fruit drinks included Hi-C, Kool-Aid and lemonade.
Researchers found that frequent consumption of soft drinks and fruit drinks containing artificial sweeteners was associated with an increased risk of depression. This increased risk was higher for those who consumed more than one drink a day.
Options to Reduce Depression
Diet and depression are linked based on the chemicals included in the items you consume. While there are organic options available for your diet, many organic options aren’t always chemical free. Being aware of what ingredients are included in the products you buy is an important step to maintaining a healthy diet.
If you absolutely can’t live without certain foods or drinks that include artificial sweeteners, there are diet options available that can help reduce the risk of depression. Including foods that are high in fiber or complex carbs, protein, and amino acids can improve mood and decrease risks of depression. Incorporating fish and other meats, vegetables and fruits, and whole grains is a great way to achieve “feel-good” neurotransmitters that help decrease feelings of depression.
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