People who eat processed foods are more likely to suffer from depression

A recent study by researchers at University College London collected data on 3,500 middle aged civil servants then ranked them according to how much of their diet was composed to whole foods (including fruits and vegetables) and how much was composed of processed foods (high-fat dairy, processed meats, refined grains, fried food and sweetened desserts).

After adjusting for other depression risk factors they found that those who consumed the most processed foods were 58% more likely to suffer from depression five years later than those who ate the least amount of processed foods. Those who ate the most wholefoods were 26% less likely to suffer from depression than those who didn't.

This did not, of course, prove that depression was caused by poor diet – rather than depression causing people to eat a poor diet and the researchers found no association between a history of depression and a poor diet. However, the study does suggest that more research into this area could be very helpful.

Published in the British Journal of Psychiatry

In a further study from the University of Melbourne (published in the June issue of the Amercian Journal of Psychiatry) researchers gathered psychiatric evaluations of 925 women between the ages of 20 to 93 over the course of ten years, then compared them to data collected on the participants' diets. They found that women who ate a diet high in white bread, hamburgers, pizza, chips, beer, flavored dairy beverages and sugary foods were 50% more likely to suffer from depression or anxiety than women who did not eat such a diet.

In contrast, women who ate what the researchers classified as a traditional Australian diet, high in vegetables, fruit, beef, lamb, fish and whole grains, were 30% less likely to suffer from mood disorders than women who did not follow the Australian diet.

Courtesy of Natural News


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First Published in May 2010 updated June 2010

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