Sure, sugar is good for the soul …but that’s really all it’s suitable for, unfortunately. It’s no secret that sugar is bad for you. For years, it has been linked to weight gain, tooth decay, worsening of skin conditions, and inflammation in the body.

What you probably haven’t considered, however, is the effect sugar may have on your mental health. You’ve probably been hearing for years that sugar is bad for your body, but how bad is it for your mental health, really?

Check out these 4 ways sugar can affect your mental health:

Increases the chance of mood disorders

A study published in 2017 found that high amounts of added sugars in the diet made it more likely that men would develop mood disorders. Have you ever seen a child throw a tantrum while coming off a “sugar high?’ This is a similar principle but on an “adult scale.”

Makes you more likely to develop depression

Let’s be real — we all desire our favorite dessert when we’re stressed out or a bit blue. Unfortunately, this tactic could ironically be making us more likely to suffer from clinical depression. A 2017 study conducted by Martin J. Shipley, Clare H. Llewellyn, and Eric J. Brunner and published by Science Reports, found that men who consume high amounts of sugar (67 or more grams per day) were 23 percent more likely to develop depression within five years.

Can make you more anxious

According to an article published in Psychology Today in 2014 entitled “4 Ways Sugar Could Be Harming Your Mental Health, ” sugar can make anxiety worse for those who already suffer from anxiety symptoms. While there is no evidence to suggest that sugar actually causes anxiety, it has been shown to make symptoms of anxiety worse. It impairs our ability to cope with stress, and limiting sugar intake can be a good way to manage symptoms of anxiety.

The connection with addiction?

Many of us joke about how our favorite sweet treats are “addicting,” but did you know there is actually some evidence that this may be true? According to the aforementioned Psychology Today article, multiple studies have displayed sugar’s addictive qualities. One of the studies done on addiction in rats actually found that the rats preferred their sugar water to the water laced with cocaine.

Keeping your mental health and sobriety in check can be a challenge. Never hesitate to seek help when you need it. For more information on help with your individual sobriety needs and mental health needs, call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843.