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    SophieScreams's Avatar
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    Do certain carbs cause depression?

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    I've been pretty depressed lately, as in the last two weeks, and nothing's changed in my life. So, I suspect diet.

    I recently upped my carb intake, from around 60-70g a day to 100-120g most days so I could resume Crossfit and not crash. Everything was going great, until I started eating white rice. Then I noticed I was eating more fruit. Then, craving actual sugar. My sugary-ricey habit has become daily now, and I'm anxious, angry, uninspired, and feeling generally hopeless.

    So, my question is, do you have any starchy foods that cause depression for you? Any truly feel-good serotonin- boosting carbs in your life?

    I'm going to ditch all fruit and stick with potatoes (those are great for me, especially white ones,) wild rice, and starchy tubers for my carbs. And really try to bring the daily carb count down to <100g, then see how I feel.
    Any other ideas are appreciated.
    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

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    loafingcactus's Avatar
    loafingcactus is offline Senior Member
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    For me time of day matters as much if not more than amount or type. Carbs in the morning = disaster. Carbs in the afternoon, much better. There is blood sugar science to back this up- carbs in the morning cause more unstable blood sugar than carbs in the afternoon do.
    “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
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    SophieScreams's Avatar
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    I definitely try to avoid carbs in the AM, it's a recipe for disaster. Bring on the eggs, bacon, butter, and BPC!
    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

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    I posted a thread about this recently. For me it was beer first, then eating rice. I never have wheat, but sugar and starches (other than rice) don't bother me.

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread88984.html

    It's strange, because as soon as I have these foods out of my system I feel fine again.

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    Ollie's Avatar
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    Observationally I've noticed I clearly get in a depressive slum when i start to eat crap in general mainly simply forms of carbs/sugars.

    Complex carbs in mod do not effect me like this however. Things like oats, sweet potatoes, etc.

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    Weird but fruit for me causes depression. I'm super sensitive to all sugars. Bring on the protein, fat and veggies like someone else said!!!!

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    There have been times that I've gotten black coffee with whipped cream on top, and a few minutes after finishing it I feel something similar to what you describe. I don't know if depression, but its an emotional discomfort?, that I don't know where it comes from. But I'm not sure if it's because of the sugar in the whipped cream, or the dairy. :P

    When I eat simple sugars I always feel bleh- because they make me anxious and overeat on more sugar.

  8. #8
    otzi's Avatar
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    It may not be your imagination! There is a direct link between the condition/type of microbes living inside your intestines and your mental state. This article describes it well: That gut feeling

    The idea that bacteria teeming in the gut—collectively known as the microbiome—can affect not only the gut, but also the mind, "has just catapulted onto the scene," says neuroimmunologist John Bienenstock, MD, of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In just the last few years, evidence has mounted from studies in rodents that the gut microbiome can influence neural development, brain chemistry and a wide range of behavioral phenomena, including emotional behavior, pain perception and how the stress system responds.

    Research has found, for example, that tweaking the balance between beneficial and disease-causing bacteria in an animal's gut can alter its brain chemistry and lead it to become either more bold or more anxious. The brain can also exert a powerful influence on gut bacteria; as many studies have shown, even mild stress can tip the microbial balance in the gut, making the host more vulnerable to infectious disease and triggering a cascade of molecular reactions that feed back to the central nervous system.
    Gut bacteria changes quickly based on the diet. Eating more sugar feeds a different set of gut microbes. Eating starch, especially from sources that contain plant fiber and resistant starch, feeds a completely different set.

    The bacteria that we want, the ones thought to be the most beneficial, are the ones that produce butyrate as a by-product and have a great effect on colonic pH. These bacteria feed exclusively on starch and plant fibers.

    An article, just out yesterday, Sorry low carbers, your microbiome is just not that into you - Human Food Project is making a bold statement that low carb paleo is not the best diet in terms of gut health, but it can be made better with the inclusion of lots of certain fiber and resistant starch.

    Depending on whom you talk with, a low carb diet is many different things to many people. I think most misinterpret a Paleo or Primal lifestyle as somehow low carb. It can be, but most folks eat a diversity and quantity of whole plants that exceed that of the average American – often by a long shot. It can sometimes be a little low carb-like due the absence of high caloric foods made from grains. But I often find people who skip grains, sugar and the like as really paying attention to whole plants in their diet – which is, of course, a good thing. But a bona fide low, low carb eater is another animal all together. Whether you draw that line at 25, 50, or 75g a day of carbs, its low I’m afraid from the perspective of your gut bugs. Especially if those carbs contain a limited amount of resistant starch and other dietary fibers – food for gut bacteria.

    That said, even though someone who eats as much as 200-500g of carbs a day can still be starving their guts bugs if those foods contain little to now indigestible substrates (fiber), a generic rule of thumb (albeit an ugly measure) is less overall carbohydrates – especially when you start dropping below 75-100g a day – translates into a dramatic drop in the amount of food reaching your colon where the vast majority of your intestinal microbial community resides. (There are exceptions to every rule, but follow my logic for a moment).

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    Mikee5's Avatar
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    Hell no! I need my starch and fruit to function and feel motivated. Without glucose, I'm a zombie with poor mental acuity or alertness, thus I have no awareness of my surroundings and the idea of depression is too complexed for my thought process or existence. Simple!

    No really, you're angry because of the carb induced guilt. If you're stepping back into that lower carb zone the depression feeling might return. Keep the same carb count but keep the starches like potatoes and SOME fruit and see how you feel.

  10. #10
    SophieScreams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by otzi View Post
    It may not be your imagination! There is a direct link between the condition/type of microbes living inside your intestines and your mental state. This article describes it well: That gut feeling



    Gut bacteria changes quickly based on the diet. Eating more sugar feeds a different set of gut microbes. Eating starch, especially from sources that contain plant fiber and resistant starch, feeds a completely different set.

    The bacteria that we want, the ones thought to be the most beneficial, are the ones that produce butyrate as a by-product and have a great effect on colonic pH. These bacteria feed exclusively on starch and plant fibers.

    An article, just out yesterday, Sorry low carbers, your microbiome is just not that into you - Human Food Project is making a bold statement that low carb paleo is not the best diet in terms of gut health, but it can be made better with the inclusion of lots of certain fiber and resistant starch.
    Hmm, very interesting indeed. I never think about my gut bugs, until I'm having bathroom issues or have to take antibiotics. Off to the market I go for some tubers then!

    So far, no rice or fruit for me today, but the plain kombucha I'm currently sipping on tastes dreadfully sweet. And I'm kinda flushed and anxious now. The whole bottle only had 4g of sugar in it. Crapbuckets.
    “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi

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