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Sugar and Depression?

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  • Sugar and Depression?

    I'm new at this, and in my first week of Primal. I was feeling wonderful, but caved to carb cravings on my sixth day (yesterday). I didn't just eat healthy carbs, though. I indugled in sugary snacks (that are in the house for other members of the family) and rice krispies.

    I had the satisfaction of seeing that this food was unfulfilling, and didn't taste anywhere near as good as the Primal foods I'd been eating.

    I also noticed something else: my stable mood began to flounder and fluctuate. I nearly broke down in tears, not knowing why. Instead of waiting around for things to get worse, I just laid down for a little while. Today, I feel my old depression pulling me down with force. It's barely 9am, and I've already been close to tears twice.

    Has anyone else suffered depression after consuming sugar?

  • #2
    There is some research that indicates that having a very low carb diet is helpful in dealing with depression. I recently read the Perfect Health Diet, and they cited studies that showed it was useful for schizophrenia, epilepsy, depression and migraines. I also can tend to depression (and migraines), and have found that having a lower carb diet works best for me - usually between 50 and 100g carb a day.

    A joyful heart is good medicine

    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

    Mmmmm. Real food is good.

    My Journal:


    • #3
      Oh, yeah. Bigtime.
      Primal eating in a nutshell: If you are hungry, eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then stop. Wait until you're hungry again. Repeat.

      Looking for my Cholesterol Primer? Here it is:

      Ditch the scale!:

      My Success Story:


      • #4
        I’ve suffered from depression since puberty (I'm 42 now) and have been on meds several times. I am also a sugar-aholic. I can say, without a doubt that sugar and depression go hand in hand.

        For me it was always a cycle. Eating sugar led to the depression, the depression led me to eat more carbs (sugar) to get the temporary “sugar high” which made me feel better for a short time, but led me back to depression. The worst part for me was even non-sweat carb would trigger this reaction (oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole grain cereal, etc).

        Primal has stabilized my mood so I don’t have those highs and lows. But I have to be careful not to be tempted into eating processed carbs…which is all too easy in the good old USA. About 17 weeks ago I made the huge mistake of eating a small amount of Easter candy. I figured it was no big deal and I could handle it. It took me 5 weeks to get back on the wagon. I gained 15 lbs and called my Dr. to get back on anti depressants (per request by my wife who can’t stand me when I’m depressed).

        I’ve been back to the primal lifestyle for the last 11 weeks and I’ve dropped 22 lbs and I feel fantastic. I can say, without any doubt that I’ve never felt better. My mood has never been so stable
        One note: It was very hard sticking with the lifestyle for the first 3-4 weeks. I had massive cravings for carbs and had to fight hard to not give in. But once those cravings passed it has become very easy to stick with it.

        I hope this helps.
        Last edited by JVib; 08-08-2011, 08:42 AM.
        "You have succeeded in life when all you really want is only what you really need." ~ Vernon Howard


        • #5
          I had chicken and almonds for breakfast, with a small peice of watermelon, and feel SO much better. It took most of the morning for my mood to lift, but I did everything I could to help it along, and didn't give in to the craving for more sweets or grains. Thank you for responding so quickly to my post - you each helped me through the morning. It's helpful to know that I'm not the only one who responds this way - that it isn't all in my head.

          JKC, that is very interesting. I've long suspected that going low-carb could turn my health around, but I didn't realize how greatly (terribly!) those carbs can affect people. I'll keep that in mind!

          Griff, the link in your signature got me reading, and now I'm taking the batteries out of my scale and putting it away. Very well said!!

          JVib, you helped tremendously. Awesome job for sticking with it, and getting back to health! You've certainly inspired me to stay with this, myself.


          • #6
            I had massive mood-swings and always felt tired and depressed when I was sugar-binging daily. Sugar does awful things to our hormones!


            • #7
              See if you can check out the book Primal Body Primal Mind. Nora the author. She writes quite a bit about depression and sugar and might find it informative...I know I did.


              • #8
                My husband is a major sugar junkie and total glass-half-empty, Chicken-Little-was-right kind of person. He can find the down side of anything and will dwell on and wallow in it - he delights in being miserable. Lots of headaches, some that even wake him up at night, and just about every other symptom that's been discussed here. I'm convinced most of it's due to the huge amount of poison (sugar) he consumes daily.