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Study Ties Pasta to Depression

Update Date: Oct 30, 2013 10:34 AM EDT
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Not all foods are made the same. Based on several studies, researchers have identified both good and bad foods and how they contribute to the body. Now, researchers are suggesting that comfort food pasta might not be so comforting after all. According to the new study, researchers found that consuming pasta, as well as other unhealthy options such as red meat and soft drinks, was tied to a greater risk of depression.  

For this 12-year study, the research team headed by Michel Lucas, Ph.D. from Harvard School of Public Health focused on foods with refined grains, such as pasta and chips. They examined 43,000 women and their diets. All of the participants were not diagnosed with depression at the start of the study.

The researchers found that women with daily diets composed of soft drinks, red meat and refined grains had a 29 to 41 percent higher chance of getting diagnosed or being treated for depression when compared to women with healthier daily diets. The team also examined the women's blood tests and discovered that women who were considered to have unhealthy diets had three biomarkers of inflammation. The researchers reasoned that an increase in inflammation could be a huge contributor to depression.

The researchers stated that even though the study did not find a cause and effect relationship, reducing inflammation by eating well would only benefit the body. Lucas recommends that people eat more olive oil, carrots, sweet potatoes and leafy greens and consume more wine and coffee.

This is not the first study to look into the effects of food on mood. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Eastern Finland reported that men who had a healthy diet also had a reduced risk of depression. The study looked at a sample of 2,000 men. These findings also supported healthy eating.

The study was published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

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