Increase in consuming sugar, which is very common during the winter season, might lead to depression. Recent studies state that individuals who are more likely to develop psychological disorders should keep their sugar consumption in check during this time of the year.
A study conducted in the University of Kansas (KU), situated in the United States revealed that activities like, varying sleep schedules and eating too much sugar cause a certain kind kind of effect in the human body. This can lead to one’s mental health getting adversely affected.
Dude to reduced exposure of sunlight during the winter season, many people face imbalance in their circadian rhythms. It is a natural phenomena which occurs in the body internally and regulates the sleep-wake cycle, which roughly repeats every 24 hours. Due to the following imbalance, healthy sleep gets unsettled. This puts 5-10% of the people from the total population at risk of clinical depression. This was shared by Stephen Ilardi, the co-author of the study. He is also a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas.
The study has been published in the journal Medical Hypothesis. It also mentioned that the aforementioned symptoms can urge a person to consume more sugary items. “One common characteristic of winter-onset depression is craving sugar,” Ilardi said.
“So, we've got up to 30 percent of the population suffering from at least some symptoms of winter-onset depression, causing them to crave carbs and now they're constantly confronted with holiday sweets,” the co-author explained.
The researchers also believe someone who is trying to avoid sugar may struggle a lot as it is responsible for providing an instant mood upliftment. People dealing with depressive episodes depend highly upon it for temporary comfort.
The study also contained that a diet having less processed food and preservatives, which is rich in omega 3’s with fatty acids and is plant based can prove to be psychologically beneficial.
“This diet is recommended not just during the holidays, but year-round. There's no one-size-fits-all approach to predicting exactly how any person's body will react to any given food at any given dose,” says Ilardi.
The researchers didn’t fail to mention that anything above the measure of 25 grams per day is considered high sugar intake.