Not only has there been an increase in obesity, but there has been a rise in depression and anxiety. Although depression can be caused by many different factors, such as environmental factors, medications, and genetics, it has also been shown to be related to diet.
I took a research class this past semester and we decided to do a study on the relationship between depression and anxiety and the intake of processed sugar. We were able to see a positive correlation between the two factors. Even though our study was not conducted by researchers, since we are just graduate students, I thought the information was interesting and worth sharing!
Our results showed that there was a more relevant correlation between depression and refined sugar, and less of a correlation with natural sugars, such as honey and agave. I thought this relationship was rather obvious since our bodies are not made to consume unnatural sugars. There was also a positive relationship between sugar consumption and being on edge. After viewing our results, I have become more interested and dedicated to reducing my consumption of sugar. Below are some dietary habits I have started doing to reduce my sugar intake
- Buy real foods and cook more often: you can purchase real food, such as vegetables, fruits, and meats. This will allow you to avoid processed sugar and carbohydrates.
- Avoid high sugar foods: this includes items like packaged cereals, dressings, baked goods, pasta, and soda. It is easy to make your own cereals. I usually make granola when I am craving something sweet. It is very easy to make and you can add different ingredients to make it your own (I will definitely be sharing my recipe soon!).
Last night my boyfriend made an avocado dressing. It was very easy to make and tasted delicious, with no processed ingredients added! It included ingredients, like avocado, olive oil, salt, and vegetable broth. I will be sharing the exact recipe soon!
- Watch what you choose at a restaurant: You never know what is added to dishes at restaurants. They can include refined carbohydrates and high calorie foods. I usually choose a salad when I eat out to avoid high calorie foods with unknown ingredients and I always ask for my dressing on the side. I try to avoid soda and sugary cocktails; however, it is sometimes hard to avoid a cocktail after a long day!
- Focus on vegetables: filling up on vegetables and other good foods can help you avoid consuming or craving sugar. Make sure you eat all your meals and do not skip meals, so you do not get hungry and choose the most convenient item.
- Motivate yourself! This is the most important tip since you need to stay motivated in order to complete a goal. Hang posters or sticky notes on mirrors to keep yourself focused on the task ahead.