What you’re eating and drinking can leave you at risk.
The sweet stuff might be turning your mood sour: Men who eat more sugar are more likely to develop a mood disorder, research from University College London found.
This study falls in line with previous research that has linked sugar to mood problems, but took them one step further. That’s because this study accounted for something called reverse causation—which, in this instance, refers to the possibility that people who have mood disorders may simply be more likely to choose high-sugar foods. But the current research took this into account, and was able to exclude that as a possibility.
“There are numerous factors that influence chances for mood disorders, but having a diet high in sugary foods and drinks might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,” study author Anika Knüppel, Ph.D. (c).
It’s not clear from the study whether reducing your sugar consumption can help improve symptoms of a poor mood—and if you are suffering from symptoms of depression or anxiety, a doctor visit should probably be your first course of action now. (Here are 7 foods doctors want you to eat.)
But if you want to guard against a mood problem, it can’t hurt to limit your added sugar now. Shoot to hit the dietary guideline max of no more than 10 percent of your calories a day—so no more than 200 calories, or 50 grams, from the added stuff.