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Old 02-02-2005, 11:35 AM   #1
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Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

On T.V. today a doctor mentioned that complex carbs help keep mood problems at bay because they keep the blood sugar even. The subject discussed was SAD and depression. Thought it might be helpful to some here!

 
Old 02-02-2005, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

anything that might help is always welcome

 
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Old 02-02-2005, 02:04 PM   #3
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

What did this doctor say? Are those that suffer from seasonal depression supposed to eat the complex carbs? Did he/she say anything about weight gain with this syndrome?
I have it and I would like to know what to do. Any advice would be much appreciated.

 
Old 02-02-2005, 10:54 PM   #4
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

Quote:
Originally Posted by twanger
What did this doctor say? Are those that suffer from seasonal depression supposed to eat the complex carbs? Did he/she say anything about weight gain with this syndrome?
I have it and I would like to know what to do. Any advice would be much appreciated.
I think he mentioned just to eat them, not stuff ourselves full of them, I'm guessing he didn't think everyone would ignore portion control.....I know carbs have a bad rep right now but really, my daughter mainly eats them (not the sugary, simple kind) and she's lost 40 pounds simply through portion control and exericising at the gym so I don't think carbs alone are to blame for overweight.

 
Old 02-03-2005, 08:59 AM   #5
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

You are so right. I went on a low carb diet for the past two winters. ( I am a slow learner and should have learned the first time.) The first winter, I lost 8 pounds and could barely walk. Last year, I lost 6 pounds and got terrible indigestion from all the fat.

I don't really eat a lot. I just need to exercise more as I do in the summer. I have no trouble controlling my weight then. I just don't like the cold, snow and ice.

 
Old 02-03-2005, 09:37 AM   #6
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

Jennita,

Your daughter did the right thing. All the studies on long term weight loss show that total calorie reduction, lower fat intake and increased activity are the biggest markers of success. Most of the carb stuff out there is BS or scare tactics (cuz someone, somewhere is making a profit off of it!). And while a year ago I heard gobs of "I lost 50 pounds on Low carb!" I am now hearing this year "I gained back 60 pounds!".

You need carbs to be healthy--- anywhere from 45 to 60% of total calories from them. The more physically active you are, like a runner, the higher percentage you can eat. Granted, the less active, the more careful you need to be about excess. If you get your 'five a day' of fruits and veges plus your 3 sources of whole grains, you are probably pretty close to the mark plus you are close to meeting your 25-35 gm fiber needs.

The trick is knowing the difference between complex/nutritionally dense carbs and well, just plain ole' junk

As for me, I can tell by my mood if I am getting enough. And yes, I do have a weakness for the empty ones (Krispy Kreme anyone?!?).

 
Old 02-03-2005, 09:50 AM   #7
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

Quote:
Originally Posted by twanger
You are so right. I went on a low carb diet for the past two winters. ( I am a slow learner and should have learned the first time.) The first winter, I lost 8 pounds and could barely walk. Last year, I lost 6 pounds and got terrible indigestion from all the fat.

I don't really eat a lot. I just need to exercise more as I do in the summer. I have no trouble controlling my weight then. I just don't like the cold, snow and ice.
Yeah, the thing is I also read carbs promote release of serotonin in the blood! But our brains need the other neurotransmitters we get from food too, so we shouldn't want to release only serotonin.

So moderation is key but I think these low-carb diets are imbalanced. We need both protein and carbs; carbs are "protein sparing", and protein is what has the amino acids that convert to various neurotransmitters in the brain and body. Both are important!

By the way, snow and cold sucks, I hear you....I have relatives in Ohio and I never liked the winter visits! I like Southern California but it's housing is so expensive; good thing we came when it was still halfway affordable...

 
Old 02-03-2005, 11:22 AM   #8
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

Quote:
Originally Posted by EssieLouHammer
Jennita,

Your daughter did the right thing. All the studies on long term weight loss show that total calorie reduction, lower fat intake and increased activity are the biggest markers of success. Most of the carb stuff out there is BS or scare tactics (cuz someone, somewhere is making a profit off of it!). And while a year ago I heard gobs of "I lost 50 pounds on Low carb!" I am now hearing this year "I gained back 60 pounds!".

You need carbs to be healthy--- anywhere from 45 to 60% of total calories from them. The more physically active you are, like a runner, the higher percentage you can eat. Granted, the less active, the more careful you need to be about excess. If you get your 'five a day' of fruits and veges plus your 3 sources of whole grains, you are probably pretty close to the mark plus you are close to meeting your 25-35 gm fiber needs.

The trick is knowing the difference between complex/nutritionally dense carbs and well, just plain ole' junk

As for me, I can tell by my mood if I am getting enough. And yes, I do have a weakness for the empty ones (Krispy Kreme anyone?!?).

Yeah, I know, I like coke classic and chocolate. Those things have to be the work of the devil!

If I could stay away from the sweets, I'd have the same success as she did, she's good at staying away from them, it's like I'll die if I don't have a coke or some ice cream sometimes!

However, exercise and portion control seems to be working for me....alot slower though, because of the sweet tooth. I imagine I'd already be at my goal weight if I could resist. I've still got 20 pounds to go. Oh well, at least the weight I did lose (around 20 lbs) seems to be permanant, so yes, I guess slow is better than fast in that case!

What you said in your post is exactly what was recommended in a Nutrition class my daughter took in college. They also discussed how distorted the assumed portion sizes of what we need daily is, I guess we think we need too much food for nutrition when in fact most natural normal foods (not boxed; canned) have a very large density of nutrition, even something as small as 8 ounces of juice gives 100% for the day.

I wish junk foods didn't taste so good though!

Last edited by Jennita; 02-03-2005 at 11:23 AM.

 
Old 02-04-2005, 02:33 AM   #9
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita
They also discussed how distorted the assumed portion sizes of what we need daily is, I guess we think we need too much food for nutrition...
This is so true. It's interesting to me, now that I'm in Europe, how much smaller the portions are that Europeans eat. Even the hamburgers at McDonalds are smaller. Makes us Americans with our huge portions look like gluttons!

 
Old 02-04-2005, 04:28 AM   #10
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennita
Yeah, the thing is I also read carbs promote release of serotonin in the blood! But our brains need the other neurotransmitters we get from food too, so we shouldn't want to release only serotonin.

So moderation is key but I think these low-carb diets are imbalanced. We need both protein and carbs; carbs are "protein sparing", and protein is what has the amino acids that convert to various neurotransmitters in the brain and body. Both are important!
a high carb meal with a little protein is the best for mood. i think i remember its something to do with the release of insulin into the blood stream that carbs have. the protein is needed to source the aminos from which the neurotransmitters are manufactured from but the high carb element causes aminos to be swept from the bloodstream across the brain barrier. also, too much protein can block the action of serotonin. the key is to eat whole grains and legumes and basically anything that is high in complex carbs, but has reasonalble amounts of protein in it. complex carbs are great because of their high b-vit content, b-6 being one of the most crucial for depression. poridge is great (around 60% carbs, but also 11% protein). brown rice, lentils etc. a little meat on top of this will ensure enough of all the aminos required. also, meat is imporatnt in depression because of its high vit b-12 content. veg sources aren't great for b-12, and b-12 is very imporatnt in the depression context. nuts and seeds as snacks for extra aminos. they also are great because of their high EFA and mineral content (omegas and minerals such as selenium and magnesium are heavily implicated in depression). if you class veg in the complex carb category, then eat loads of it for its folic acid. folic acid is a b-vit that depressed people are often deficient in. make sure you eat as much of the stuff RAW as it is easily destroyed in the cooking process. i have found the easiest way to get your raw quota is by buying a juicing machine.

 
Old 02-04-2005, 05:07 AM   #11
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

Hi Jennita,

The term "complex carbs" is old school and highly inaccurate in terms of describing the effects on blood sugar. Don't believe it. The glycemic index is the only scientifically based measure of how different types of carbohydrate effect blood sugar "immediately" after eating. Even complex carb can push your blood sugars through the roof.

Best.....Scott

 
Old 02-04-2005, 11:32 AM   #12
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

Quote:
Originally Posted by index.html
This is so true. It's interesting to me, now that I'm in Europe, how much smaller the portions are that Europeans eat. Even the hamburgers at McDonalds are smaller. Makes us Americans with our huge portions look like gluttons!
Exactly! Lucky you, there in beautiful Europe! Well, it seems McDonalds at least has done away with supersizing here and has added fruit and salad selections.....some progress at least.

 
Old 02-04-2005, 01:47 PM   #13
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

I've had blood sugar issues my entire life and can really see how what I eat effects my mood. Over all a complex carb is almost always a better bet than a Krispy Kreme! A sad but true fact....but there are some complex carbs that will trigger an insulin release on par with a simple carb. And that's where the GI comes in, however, I've heard even that isn't as accurate as the GL or glycemic Lode. that had to do with the GI AND the amount of the particular food you are eating. There is some sort of formula for it, which I can't remember. Beyond the fact that it all sort of facinates me, trying to keep track of all that is too much work for me.

That being said, I have issues with food and control and my weight varies from year to year. There is a definate correlation between my poor diet and my depression but I can't seem to figure out which comes first....

Anyway I think what's most important is that people get the message that an unbalanced diet, heavy in sugars and refined carbs is probably going to contribute to their emotional distress. Eating a well balanced diet that includes whole grains instead of refined ones will serve us better.

So step away from the Krispy Kremes!! Eat an apple instead

 
Old 02-04-2005, 02:14 PM   #14
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

Most diabetes educators use consistant carbs in teaching. Part of the problem with the GI is that it changes with food combinations, cooking methods, even food source. Also, protein causes an increase in insulin,
often greater than the CHO in the diet.

Ie= Whole wheat hamburger bun= x increase in BS
with 3 oz hamburger, the rate of blood sugar increase changes.
Add cheese, it changes again.
Fat/fiber slows absorption etc. so the rate of CHO absorption is hard to
determine.

The GI looks great on paper for individual foods, however, it changes dramatically when people actually eat meals with various foods.

 
Old 02-04-2005, 02:39 PM   #15
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Re: Complex carbs affect mood fluctuations

One of my problems is feeling stoned and spacey like smoking marijuana or taking mescaline. Related to the above discussion is the fact that complex carbs like bread, rice, potatoes, and even an apple send me through the roof. The affect will be felt immediately with an apple or the next day with cereal grains etc. No doctor or website or forum has yet to answer the question of why. I eat meat, steamed vegetables, olive oil, seeds, nuts, and one apple per day. If I am on medication, I can eat sprouted grain flourless bread and whole grain brown rice. My problems are many more but I will not get into that at this time. Has anybody else ever experienced this type of effect from food? Blood tests show that it is not diabetes.

 
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