Eating food high in refined carbohydrates such as white bread and white rice may increase the risk of depression in postmenopausal women, says a study.
The findings suggest that greater consumption of dietary fibre, whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruits is associated with decreased depression risk.
The research by James Gangwisch, and colleages from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) in New York looked at data from more than 70,000 postmenopausal women who participated in the US National Institutes of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study between 1994 and 1998.
Consumption of carbohydrates increases blood sugar levels to varying degrees, depending on the type of food ingested.
The more highly refined the carbohydrate, the higher its score on the glycemic index (GI) scale that measures the amount of sugar found in the blood after eating in a scale of 0-100.
This response may also cause or exacerbate mood changes, fatigue and other symptoms of depression in post-menopausal women, the findings showed.