Could you get depressed from sugar, grains and margarine?


Do you get depressed from eating the wrong foods? A recent study from Harvard School of Public Health shows an association:

As always, this is uncertain and preliminary science that doesn’t prove anything. It’s only statistical correlation from a questionnaire. The relatively small increase in risk may be due to almost anything.

A bad diet (including bread, sugar and margarine) might increase the risk of depression and other brain┬ádisorders, but we can’t prove this with a questionnaire-based study.

Earlier on depression


  1. Marcy
    I am cool with all the inflammatory foods until getting to the red meat. Wonder if that includes grass fed beef? Maybe that is why my CRP was always so high, I eat a lot of beef. I have lived in two heavy beef states, Illinois and now Colorado. We just always ate red meat over other proteins.
  2. Thang
    Here is some personal evidence which backs this up, although it is of course just my own experience:

    Before I went LCHF, I ate a lot of bread/pasta/rice etc. I didn't eat much sugar because I already knew how much it messed with my mood.

    In any event, I was still experiencing severe mood swings, depression and bad anxiety.

    Since being on LCHF for the last 2.5 months, all of the above have cleared up almost completely.

    One week ago I (foolishly) thought I would treat myself to pizza, partly in celebration of all my weight loss on LCHF, and partly to see what the wheat would do to me. I was curious.

    I had the pizza on Friday night (Jan 3rd) and felt okay - somewhat bloated, but okay. I woke up on Saturday morning in an irritable mood, not feeling very good about life in general. Also, by stomach was in great amounts of pain.

    Saturday night was complete hell. My joints were on fire. I could not sleep or even find a comfortable position to lie in. I felt absolutely horrible. Sunday and Sunday night we pretty much a repeat of Saturday.

    Monday was a bit better and every day since then has gotten better till today a week later, when I feel that I am returning to my new LCHF "normal" - which is pretty much feeling great about life, not worrying about anything and not being irritated by any food.

    I will not touch wheat, starch, grains, pasta, rice or sugar again ever in my life. It's not worth it.

    LCHF makes me feel (and look) too good to jeopardise everything for a temporary blood sugar rush.

    Reply: #6
  3. smc
    Is there any evidence that red meat is really an "inflammatory food?" What studies bear this out? Since going on the LCHF lifestyle, all of my inflammatory conditions (and there were several) have vanished. And we do eat red meat. So, in my case at least, red meat consumption is not sufficient to trigger a noticeable inflammatory response. I know, from bitter experience, that adding too many carbs back to my diet will indeed do so.
  4. Galina L.
    Not the red meat itself was suggested to be inflammatory, but that combination of soda, refined carbs and red meat. It is funny that red wine is nowadays considered to be as healthy as olive oil. I would be depressed for sure if were consuming alcohol (which is very bad for allergies, especially red vine and beer) daily. I am prone to have allergies unless I avoid foods that makes it worse (like alcohol, strawberries, hot red pepper, too much chocolate and some more) and follow a LC diet.
  5. Tristan
    I certainly believe that emotional health and physical health are closely related. Anyone who eats a low carbohydrate diet and then all of a sudden binges of sugar and processed food knows the feeling. I used to have a cheat day every 3 weeks a long time ago and it would take several days to a week to recover from all the damage. When you spend long enough eating a diet that gives you energy and makes you feel great, you recognize the devastating effects of switching to a high sugar/carbohydrate diet.
  6. Rozzy
    Allergic reaction or gluten intolerance was probably one of the two!
  7. paleozeta
    when i started eating lchf eliminating all cereals and sugar, the first thing i noticed was that my mood improved day by day. in the last year, my good days have been close to 100% whereas before the pattern was just almost vice versa. then came the physical benefit.
    i was quite depressed before and now it is like living in a dream, which i could not even imagine in those days.
    i am really grateful
    Reply: #8
  8. Thang
    Awesome paleozeta.... my experience exactly. I have not felt this optimistic and positive about life in almost a decade.

    LCHF is the real deal... well, I definitely know it works for me.

  9. Sophie
    Me too!

    Every time I've cut down on carbs I've noticed a tremendous improvement in my moods. Other factors were probably at play, but it dit happen nonetheless.

  10. Nikos
    I have very stable moods lately. I started in June 2013 eliminated sugar, later eliminated wheat and finally 6 months later i introduced much more saturated fat in my diet.
    At this latest stage i am in the best mood of my 45 year life (no depression, handle very easily streessful situations, much more optimism in my thinking).

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