What should you drink to pick yourself up? Coffee or a sweetened drink? Consider this before answering those questions. The evidence against the use of sugar and artificial sweeteners continues to mount. Now there is preliminary evidence that sweetened drinks increase the risk of depression in older adults.
In a recent large prospective study older adults who consumed 4 cans or cups of sweetened soft drinks were at higher risk for depression. For those that consumed diet sodas the risk was 31% higher and for those who consumed regular soda the risk was 22%. But, the risk for depression for coffee drinkers (4 cups of unsweetened coffee a day) was nearly 10% lower. An explanation for the findings isn’t given, but it is known that sugar affects brain chemistry and some artificial sweeteners are neurotoxins.
Other studies show increased risk of depression in individuals consuming fruit punch and sweetened tea. The risk of depression was higher in those conusming these drinks artificially flavored than naturally. Diet soda is linked to weight gain, diabetes, and increase drisk of heart disease and strokes. Sugar is also the main fuel source of some cancers. In animals, aspartame (NutraSweet®) increases the risk of diabetes.
Do You Suffer From Depression?
If you suffer from depression take a close look at your diet. Eliminate drinks high in sugar and their diet cousins that are artificially sweetened. Look into your foods, too. There’s been a trend to limit protein intake (because of cholesterol concerns). However, protein is made of amino acids and amino acids serve as the building blocks to make the many neurotransmitters that affect our moods and emotions. Consume high quality protein (eggs are an excellent source of protein).
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