For many Americans, weight gain is often times accompanied by depression. New research suggests that may not just be coincidental.
Many of the foods we eat over the holiday season and other times of the year — because we are rushed and may not make time for healthier meals — are linked with depression, according to a new report on the LiveScience Website.
Fast Food: People who eat fast food — such as commercial baked goods, hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza — are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who don’t, according to a 2012 study in the journal Public Health Nutrition.
Refined grains: Pasta, white rice, and bagels are all foods made with refined grains that have been identified as inflammatory and linked to depression, particularly in women over 50, according to an October 2013 study in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity. The study tracked the eating habits of more than 40,000 women and found that those who consumed such foods regularly were more likely to suffer from depression.
Soft drinks: Grabbing a cola while shopping or on the run may give you a quick pick-me-up, but the same study in Brain, Behavior and Immunity found women who consume soft drinks as part of their regular diets also experience higher rates of depression.
Health experts note that a small portion of any one food is unlikely to raise depression risk, so an occasional bowl of pasta, soft drink, or fast food burger is no cause for concern. But if such foods are regular stapes of your diet, you might want to make some changes.