Diet and Depression: Diet Soda Linked to Depression

coca cola 462776 1280Diet and Depression: What You Consume May Be Causing Depression

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.

Trails Carolina Can Help!

Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 10-17. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other behavioral challenges.
For more information about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303 today!

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Jeremy Whitworth

As Executive Director at Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for youth and teens, I oversee operations and collaborate with our leadership team. Since 2022, I've also hosted the Common Ground Podcast for parents: With a background in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, I've managed adventure-based therapeutic programs across the US and Canada. My experiences in competitive athletics and adventure sports have honed my leadership, risk assessment, and decision-making skills, which I apply to running a successful business like Trails Carolina.

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Trails saved my daughter’s life. Amanda is an amazing human and a brilliant therapist. I am so grateful to her, Science Steve, and the other wonderful people who could reach my daughter at a time when I could not.

Margot Lowman August 2022

Great life changing experience for our son. After becoming addicted to gaming during covid he was very depressed. At Trails he experienced the wilderness, Science Steve, learning survival skills and top notch therapy and support etc… I highly recommend! This gave our son and our family a renewed family bond full of love and excitement about his bright future.

Winnifred Wilson July 2022


Outstanding clinical work and superb staff! There’s a great culture at this company and it shows with how they engage with families/clients.

Kristin Brace June 2022


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