LIFESTYLE

White Bread And Pasta Linked To Depression In Women

07/08/2015 12:41 BST | Updated 07/08/2015 12:59 BST

Next time you reach for that bacon sarnie made with soft, white bread - think of this.

A new study has found links between white bread consumption and depression in post-menopausal women.

Data from more than 70,000 women revealed that older women were at higher risk of suffering from depression if their diet contained refined carbs - including white bread, pasta and rice.

But, fear not, because researchers found that whole grains, vegetables and foods rich in fibre could help reduce depression risk.

woman white bread

The data analysed was from the women's health initiative study between 1994 and 1998, conducted by the National Institutes of Health.

Usually, when a person consumes carbohydrates, their blood sugar levels with spike.

However researchers found that refined foods such as white bread could trigger a hormonal response in the body which would lower blood sugar levels - causing mood changes, fatigue and other symptoms of depression.

Scientists say there's a clear link between these refined foods, added sugars and increased risk of depression in women.

Dr James Gangwisch from Columbia University, who led the study, said: "This suggests that dietary interventions could serve as treatments and preventive measures for depression.

"Further study is needed to examine the potential of this novel option for treatment and prevention, and to see if similar results are found in the broader population."

The study was published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition.

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It's not the first time refined foods have been linked to ill-health in women. A previous study found that they could also contribute towards endometrial cancer.

The findings were based on studies in the US by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund International, which revealed that 'glycemic load' affects the risk of getting the cancer.

Glycemic load refers to how quickly a food releases sugar, and high GL foods such as white bread or pasta release sugar very quickly.

For a healthier diet, try these 'good carbs' instead:

Good Carbs