DEPRESSION AND PROCESSED FOODS: A possible link between depression and eating processed food. That’s what this new research out of the University College of London finds. They say they’re the first to study this link. The researchers compared the diets of about 3,500 adults. They say those with a diet high in processed food had a 58-percent higher risk of depression 5 years later.

Processed Foods Defined

People rant about “processed” foods all the time, but what exactly are they? Processed foods are those that have been refined (meticulously separated from their “undesired” parts!) to make them last longer, transport easier or absorb more quickly in our bodies. There are many forms of processing such as canning, peeling and even boiling. Suffice it to say that processed foods are those that has been refined to the point such that fundamentally important elements have been extracted. Ironically, they are then fortified with nutrients or ingredients often lost to processing. The simplest answer is to think of them as foods that have been altered from their natural state beyond normal harvesting.

Refined foods such as wheat, corn and rice are essentially the edible food substances left after the healthy natural parts are ground down into fine particles. Check: white flour. Other examples of extracted parts of wheat are its bran. Other important elements are fiber, protein, minerals, vitamins, and good fats like omega fatty acids.

Depression: All in the Gut?