Sugar lurks in foods in more than 85 different forms. Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D., the first person to receive a doctorate in addictive nutrition, says that besides being detrimental to the immune system, the more than 100 pounds of processed sugar consumed annually by each American is responsible for "mood swings, depression, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, PMS, impulsivity ... [and] unpredictable temper." And while overdosing on the sweet stuff is a national pastime, she says her research shows indulging in sugar highs should be treated much more seriously, akin to heroin or alcohol dependency, because sugar causes spikes in the neurotransmitters serotonin and beta-dopamine just like those drugs--and can eventually wreak similar mayhem on one's health, work, and relationships.
The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program is not a quick fix; DesMaisons's plan aims to eliminate sugar cravings, requiring five days of "detox," along with building up the resolve to stick to the recommendations over time--including while out at restaurants, during social gatherings, and while traveling. Fortunately, she offers plenty of tips for those situations, and her prescription is practical and easy to follow, including seven steps as simple as making sure some protein is included with each meal. (That's not to say this is a high-protein, low-carb diet; she criticizes Dr. Robert Atkins and other fad-diet hawkers.) DesMaisons includes more than 50 recipes that cover breakfast through dinner; advice for choosing comfort foods to replace those M&Ms and sodas; and an invitation to join the support group she runs through her Web site. The Recovery Program should be of particular interest to parents and teachers, considering the way sugar-saturated foods are ruthlessly marketed to children--Coke machines are more and more commonplace in elementary schools--and that many of the behaviors DesMaisons links to sugar sensitivity are remarkably similar to those of ADHD. --Erica Jorgensen
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From Publishers Weekly
Following in the tracks of her Potatoes Not Prozac, nutrition expert DesMaisons serves up a practical and promising dietary plan for sugar addicts, which revolves around several basic tenets: no sugar, moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates, more protein, regular meals and a nightly potato. (Eating potatoes enables tryptophan to enter the bloodstream, which increases production of the brain chemical serotonin, which, in turn, boosts optimism, creativity and the ability to concentrateAkey factors, DesMaisons avers, in maintaining a healthy diet.) Using biochemistry to alter mood and cure sugar cravings is DesMaisons's primary goal, and she maintains that the best way to redirect a sugar-sensitive makeup is to deal with the sugar addiction step by step. To that end, she offers an accessible diet that allows dairy (butter on the potato is allowed!), meat and plenty of whole grains. The book includes menus and recipes (including some creative ways to fix "Mr. Spud"), tips on what to order when dining out or when eating on the run and a list of foods containing "covert" sugar. DesMaisons guides readers graduallyAalbeit with some repetitionAthrough her plan This is a sensible approach that will surely tempt sugar lovers hoping to find a natural, long-range solution to their addiction, and ultimately change their lives. (Dec. 19)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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