Understanding Sugar Sensitivity
Glossary of Key Terms and Concepts
Sugar sensitivity: A biochemical condition creating puzzling physical
and emotional ups and downs. It includes volatile blood sugar
responses, a low level of serotonin, a low level of beta-endorphin and
a heightened response to the pain-numbing effects of sugars. It is
profoundly affected by diet.
Low blood sugar: A physical state in which the amount of glucose in
the blood drops and creates symptoms such as fatigue, irritability,
loss of concentration and emotional vulnerability.
Serotonin: A brain chemical responsible for mood and impulsivity.
Beta-endorphin: A brain chemical responsible for modulating emotional
and physical pain. It contributes to feelings of self-esteem, euphoria
Impulse control: The ability to “just say no”; the gap between
intention and action. It is affected by the level of serotonin in the
brain. Low serotonin results in low impulse control.
Covert sugars: Sugars hidden in processed foods. Includes things like
high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin and raisin paste.
Complex carbohydrates: Carbohydrates having more than three simple
sugars strung together. Includes all green, yellow, white, purple and
red vegetables; whole-grain breads, cereals and pasta; brown rice and
other grains; nuts and seeds; lentils and beans; and potatoes.
From POTATOES NOT PROZAC by Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D.