New research reveals the real cause of SAD

How to kick your “happy” hormones into gear, starting today

I’ve tackled seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in these pages many times before. And there’s a reason my recommendations always come back to my A-List Diet. Because in order to get a handle on SAD, you need to kick sugar—there’s no way around it.

And now, a team of University of Kansas researchers has discovered that sugar is actually the stealth culprit behind this all-too-common condition.

Sugar fuels the fire in your brain

These researchers point out that the reduced sunlight and changes in sleep patterns that accompany the darker days of winter combine to form a serious threat to mental health. And surprise! Sugar is fuel on the fire.

Their work recently appeared in the journal Medical Hypotheses. And it shows that sugar triggers metabolic, inflammatory, and neurobiological changes that pave the way to full-blown clinical depression.

To make matters worse, this depression often prompts more cravings for sugar. Meaning depressed patients seek out a “high” by consuming even more. Which sets off a vicious cycle for your mood. And as usual, inflammation appears to lie at the root.

In fact, these researchers found that a high level of systemic inflammation was the single most destructive impact of sugar intake on mental health. And if you refer back to my January 2018 Logical Health Alternatives issue, this won’t surprise you at all. Because as I explained then, brain inflammation has recently emerged as a key cause of depression.

But it’s not the only cause: These researchers also point to sugar’s negative impact on the microbiome as a major smoking gun. And considering the fact that your gut is your “second brain”—responsible for generating a huge portion of your body’s “happy” hormones—that shouldn’t surprise you either.

The fact is, the bad bacteria in your gut love sugar. And when you feed them a steady stream of it, all hell breaks loose throughout your entire body—including your brain.

A simple solution

The authors’ conclusions are ones I’ve been preaching about for my entire career. So let’s jump right to the solution…

Eliminate sugar and fill up on nutrient-dense whole foods and healthy fats instead. You also need to slash carbs (which are really just sugar by another name).

That’s my A-List Diet in a nutshell. But if you’d like more details and guidance, order yourself a copy from!


Reis DJ, et al.The depressogenic potential of added dietary sugars.” Med Hypotheses. 2019 Oct 10;134:109421.