Episode 090: Bad Mood Food – Sugar and Depression and Anxiety

Today we’re taking a deep dive into the link between sugar and depression! We’ll take a look not only at sugar’s impact on cravings but also how carbs and sugar impact focus, attention, mood and much more. We’ll understand why individuals who struggle with mood swings, anxiety or depression might really benefit from cutting back significantly on sugar.

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Sugar and Depression – Bad Mood Food

We have a mental health crisis in this country and we’re out of our minds if we don’t think nutrition and fitness has a MAJOR role in mental health.

  1. Sugar is addictive
  2. The more sugar we consume, the more sugar we crave. We build a tolerance to sugar and require more and more to satisfy the pleasure center in the brain.
  3. Sugar is inflammatory. This inflammation also occurs in the brain. Depression and mental health issues are linked to brain inflammation.
  4. Carb and sugar metabolism depletes B vitamins. B vitamins are essential for mood stability and regulation.
  5. Sugar metabolism increases excretion of chromium. Chromium is required for insulin to work properly. Chromium deficiency has been repeatedly linked to mental health issues
  6. Sugar causes a release of serotonin. When we chronically consume sugar, we become resistant to serotonin and that may lead to struggles with depression, anxiety or other mood disorders
  7. Sugar suppresses the activity of a hormone known as BDNF or brain derived neurotrophic factor. Low levels of BDNF have been linked to a wide variety of mental health issues including depression and anxiety.
  8. Many mental health professionals treat depression with drugs that improve your blood sugar response, like Actos.

Practical Implementation

  1. Move towards more whole foods. Reduce intake of processed foods
  2. Don’t drink your sugar
  3. Focus on fats, proteins and fiber from veggies
  4. Adequate intake of B vitamins and chromium
  5. Let cravings be a red flag
  6. Ask for help

Resources

Carbs at Night

Carb Strategies for Fat Loss (Use the coupon code Primal10)

Golden Rules of Carbs & Fat Loss

Carb Timing

Carb Tolerance

This Is Your Brain on Sugar

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