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Want to Avoid Holiday Blues? Avoid sweets

Want to Avoid Holiday Blues? Avoid sweets
Credits: Pixabay
Want to Avoid Holiday Blues? Avoid sweets - A new study from a team of clinical psychologists at the University of Kansas shows that eating extra sugar can trigger post-crucifixion depression holiday alias vacation blues.

Sugary foods can trigger metabolic, inflammatory, and neurobiological processes associated with depression. This research was published in the journal Medical Hypotheses.

Especially in the 4 seasons that are experiencing winter, reduced sunlight, and changes in sleep patterns, high sugar consumption can affect mental health. While in other parts of the world experiencing winter, in Indonesia, there is also currently a rainy season.

"For many people, reduced exposure to sunlight during the winter will throw away circadian rhythms, disrupt healthy sleep and push five to 10 percent of the population into episodes of full clinical depression," said Stephen Ilardi, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas, reported by Science Daily.

Ilardi, who wrote research with the University of Kansas graduate student Daniel Reis (lead author), Michael Namekata, Erik Wing, and Carina Fowler (Duke University), said symptoms of depression that arise this winter can encourage people to consume more sweets.

"One of the common characteristics of depression that occurs in winter is sugar cravings. So, we have up to 30 percent of the population who suffer from at least some of the symptoms of depression due to winter, causing them to want carbohydrates - and now they are always faced with holiday sweets. , "he said.

Ilardi said, avoiding added food sugars might be very challenging because sugar improves mood to be good, making some people suffering from depression seek temporary emotional recovery.

"When we consume sweets, they act like drugs," said University of Kansas researchers, who are also the authors of "The Depression Cure" (First De Capo Press, 2009).

"Sugar has an immediate mood-enhancing effect, but in high doses, it can also have paradoxical long-term consequences, damage it, make the mood worse, reduce well-being, increase inflammation and cause weight gain," he said.

The researchers reached their conclusions by analyzing various studies on the physiological and psychological effects of consuming additional sugars, including the Observation Study of Women's Health Initiatives, the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, studies of Spanish university graduates, and studies of Australian and Chinese soda drinkers.

Ilardi cautioned that it might be more appropriate to look at added sugar, at quite high levels, because it is physically and psychologically dangerous, like drinking a little alcohol.

"We have pretty good evidence that one alcoholic drink a day is safe and may have beneficial effects for some people," he said.

"Alcohol is basically pure calories, pure energy, not nutritious, and super toxic at high doses. Sugar is very similar. We learn that when depressed, people who optimize their diets must provide all the nutrients the brain needs and mostly avoid potential poisons. This, "Ilardi said.

The researchers found inflammation was the most important physiological effect of sugar, food-related to mental health, and depression disorders.

"A large number of people with depression have high levels of systemic inflammation. When we think of inflammatory diseases, we think of things like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis - diseases with high levels of systemic inflammation," they said.

Also, inflammatory hormones can directly push the brain into a state of severe depression. So, an inflamed brain is usually a depressed brain. Added sugar has a pro-inflammatory effect on the body and mind.

Ilardi and his colleagues also identified the impact of sugar on the microbiome as a potential contributor to depression.

"Our bodies hold more than 10 trillion microbes, and many of them know how to hack the brain. Symbiotic microbial species, beneficial microbes, basically hack the brain to increase our happiness. They want us to develop so they can develop," Ilardi explained.

However, several microbial species can be considered parasites. Many of the parasitic microbes that grow well in added sugar, and can produce chemicals that drive the brain in a state of anxiety, stress, and depression.

Ilardi recommends a minimal diet that is rich in plant foods and Omega-3 fatty acids for optimal psychological benefits. As for sugar, KU researchers recommend caution - not only during holidays but throughout the year.

"There is no one-size-fits-all approach that can predict exactly how a person's body will react to any food with a certain dose," Ilardi said.

"As a conservative guideline, based on our current knowledge, there may be some risks associated with high-dose sugar intake - may be anything above the American Heart Association guidelines, which is 25 grams of added sugar per day," he said.

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