This book ties in with the book Sugar Blues, also reviewed on this blog.

Potatoes Not Prozac by Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD, the national bestseller that started the sugar-free revolution, is now fully revised and updated with the latest scientific information and success stories for a new generation of readers.

Can’t say no to fattening foods, carbs, or alcohol? You may be one of the millions of people who are sugar sensitive. Many people who suffer from sugar sensitivity don’t even know it—and they continue to consume large quantities of sweets, breads, pasta, or alcohol. These foods can trigger exhaustion or low self-esteem, yet their biochemical impact makes those who are sugar sensitive crave them even more. This vicious cycle can continue for years, leaving sufferers overweight, fatigued, depressed, and sometimes alcoholic.
Dr. Kathleen DesMaisons came up with the solution and published it in her revolutionary book, Potatoes Not Prozac a decade ago. In that instant bestseller, she provided the tools needed to overcome sugar dependency, including self-tests and a step-by-step, drug-free program with a customizable diet designed to change your brain chemistry. But now, armed with years of further research and patient feedback, Dr. DesMaisons has improved her groundbreaking plan to make it even more effective and easier to follow. Join the thousands who have successfully healed their addiction to sugar, lost weight, and attained maximum health and well-being by using this updated, innovative plan.
You’re not lazy, self-indulgent, or undisciplined. Many people who suffer from sugar sensitivity don’t even know it—and they continue to consume large quantities of sweets, breads, pasta, or alcohol. These foods can trigger exhaustion or low self-esteem, yet their biochemical impact makes those who are sugar sensitive crave them even more. This vicious cycle can continue for years, leaving sufferers overweight, fatigued, depressed, and sometimes alcoholic.

Diet and nutrition are an important aspect of mental health (and general health) when considering depression and (most, if not all) other mental health disorders. Good, sound diet and nutrition are the first-line of defense that anyone with depression should consider.

Potatoes not Prozac is an interesting book from an author who has a PhD. in addictive nutrition. The majority of the book is devoted to the idea that sugar addiction is similar to other addictions such as alcoholism, and that the two go more or less hand-in-hand. Many alcoholics have established life patterns of poor nutrition that includes poor eating habits and sugar addiction. The sugar addiction adds to the craving for alcohol.

Much of the book, Potatoes Not Prozac (off-site link) is based on the sound and proven nutritional principles that lead to the insulin spike in diabetes, the highs and lows of eating sugary foods along with refined carbohydrates and white flour.

DesMaisons indicates that for some, sugar is a strong addiction, similar to that of drugs like cocaine, heroin, and morphine, that can require a great deal of effort to break free of. She outlines a seven step plan to help the reader create a better nutritional lifestyle, in small steps leading to bigger steps. By keeping a careful journal of what you eat, eating three good meals a day, with an emphasis on a good breakfast, gradually cutting out sugary foods, learning to identify refined carbohydrates and hidden sugar in foods, you can get a handle on your diet, develop a healthier lifestyle and break free from the highs and lows of a sugary lifestyle. This can help with depressionADHD and other mental health issues such as bipolar disorder (not mentioned in the book), as well as alcoholism and other compulsive disorders. SSRIs such as Prozac work on the principle of serotonin buildup in the brain; DesMaisons claims that this can also be achieved by eating more foods that contain the protein which contributes to the production of serotonin –tryptophan — notably potatoes. Instead of a candy bar, a drink or Prozac before you go to bed, eat a potato. This will contribute to more tryptophan in the bloodstream, along with a higher serotonin level in the brain. Serotonin contributes to a better sense of well-being.

Additionally, DesMaisons points to beta-endorphins upon which the runner’s high is based. These opiate-like endorphins are taken up by the neurotransmitters in our brain to produce that sense of well-being. Endorphins are released in the brain during exercise and help fend off depression. DesMaisons links serotonin, endorphins and blood sugar level in its simplest metabolic form, glucose, as the vital nutritional elements in fending off depression, alcohol addiction and sugar addiction.

Protein, she says, is not to be avoided, but embraced in modest quantities during each meal. She recommends only three vitamin supplements, C, B-complex and Zinc. She also ties in helpful information on quitting smoking.

Much of what she has written has more or less become a standard part of nutritional mainstream thought. She supplies an appendix which cites numerous clinical studies.

Any alcoholic should read this book, as well as those with depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD or other mental health disorders who will find the principles in Potatoes not Prozac beneficial. Take from this book what you can and use it to your advantage. If you follow the program of Potatoes not Prozac strictly, that won’t hurt either, and can help you correct strongly entrenched regressive dietary habits. The book is also good for anyone who has low blood sugar, diabetes, or a compulsive personality when it comes to any type of consumables.

About the Author

Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD coined the term “sugar sensitivity” and is the world’s leading expert on addictive nutrition, using dietary change to support long term healing of addiction. Her bestselling book, Potatoes Not Prozac, continues to demystify very complex processes through her warm, compassionate, and clear style. She has more than thirty years’ experience working in public health, nutrition, and childhood health. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

2 thoughts on “Potatoes not Prosac – Nutrition for Depression

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