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Sugar, Starch, and Other Addictive Foods

Americans suffering from food-addiction compose over 50 percent of the adult population. That percentage is even higher among recovering addicts who so often began treatment and drop their drugs or alcohol, but pick up or increase their use of sugar, starch, and other drug-like junk foods, typically gaining 30 pounds in 30 days. This was the expected norm in the large, well-regarded San Francisco residential treatment program, The Henry Ohlhoff House, that Alliance co-founder Julia Ross worked in for 14 years as a counselor and then as Director of Outpatient Programs.

In 1982 Ross founded a program at Ohlhoff for overeaters and bulimics. Bulimia is a common problem that recovering alcoholics in particular suffer from in recovery as they try to prevent this weight gain from their increased sugar/junk food intake. When Ross founded her own outpatient program in 1988, she introduced amino acid therapy strategies that dramatically increased the program’s effectiveness and led to her publishing her first best-selling book, The Diet Cure (She has since rewritten the book in a 2012 edition). Her new book, released in 2017, The Craving Cure, focuses on how commercial food science has made food addicts of us all and the power of amino acids to free us (

Here is Julia on YouTube discussing our addiction to commercial food, the current public health crisis it has created, and the proven nutritional solutions.

Following is an excerpt from The Craving Cure’s introduction:

Food Cravings, The Brain, and The Nutrient Solution

The elimination of cravings is the critical missing key in America’s struggle to free itself from the wrong food, the wrong weight, and the wrong health. The Craving Cure provides that key, forged from everything I’ve learned in the last thirty years through research into neuro nutrition and from the real-life experiences of the thousands of clients who have come into the programs at my clinics. Here are its essential elements.

  • Healthy eating and healthy weight are our birthright. They were a given throughout human history, until the 1970s.

  • In the 1970s, several dietary changes, unprecedented in all of human history, radically altered our relationship to food and to our bodies.

  • Commercially-designed food-like substances have turned us into helpless cravers and over-consumers of the most caloric and least nutritious diet ever known; a diet that nature never intended us to eat.

  • Our brain’s five primary appetite-control forces, including powerful neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphin, are being hijacked by our new eating habits and need an emergency rescue operation.

  • Each of us has a unique food craving profile determined by the functioning or malfunctioning of our brains’ five appetite-control forces.

  • Special, easy to find, brain-targeted nutrient supplements called amino acids can be used to form an immediate line of defense against cravings by directly supporting any of those forces that have been compromised.

  • A twenty-first-century eating strategy that restores the ancient nutritional fundamentals (including saturated fat and red meat) can build in permanent protection from modern dietary dangers, once the amino acids have done their work.

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