Cravings in Cooler Weather
A study from the Biological Psychiatry found that we tend to crave carbohydrates in fall, as the days get shorter, cooler, and darker. This, in turn, produces increased levels of certain hormones and causes amplified levels of tryptophan and serotonin, two hormones that boost mood and have the ability to soothe certain types of weather-related moods and depression (i.e., seasonal affective disorder).
Increased Carbs and SAD
Approximately 10-percent of the population suffers from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a type of depression that’s impacted by weather and begins in late fall or early winter and dissipates in summer as light periods increase. However, that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through the fall and winter months.
Doctor Judith Wurtman, co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet as well as author of several articles in Scientific American, studied the SAD-carb connection and discovered that 30-grams of carbohydrates per day (roughly 120 calories from carbs) will produce adequate serotonin to boost positivity.
Increased Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
A group of health conditions known as metabolic syndrome— increased high blood sugar level, high cholesterol, excess abdominal fat, and increased blood pressure—greatly raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart attack, and stroke.
Unfortunately, research published in PLoS One medical journal and by the Mayo Clinic, linked mood fluctuations in fall (i.e., SAD and mild depression) due to changing light cycles to increased risk of metabolic syndrome.