You have hit upon some good points as the human body is so interconnected! Weight gain has not been a major issue for me, however, the dietary changes that you are making (plus lifestyle changes like excercise) are going to have a really positive impact on your health and well being!
When I was in my 20's I suffered through some severe anxiety problems... part of my problem was my diet. I was a manager at a pizza restaurant, and I regularly ate my meals there. Also, I drank soda regularly and ate lots of other fast food at other places. Although I had grown up quite thin, I suddenly found myself becoming over weight. I soon went from weighing 165 lbs to about 215 or 220. Also, the smoke filled environments I frequented didn't help my health either and neither did the beer drinking. I remember that eventually I ended up working at a job that required a lot of physical labor. This really helped me to scale my weight back down to what it used to be. Also, I stopped eating fast food as much and started to learn to cook recipies at home. After making these kinds of lifestyle changes (plus a few others), I found myself feeling so much better than I had before when I was overweight and not eating as well. Although weight has not been an issue for me during benzo w/d, I can certainly understand how these kinds of issues can impact someone during and post taper.
Also, nutrition is a huge importance to my wife's side of the family. There are some health issues that run there such as hypoglycemia, collitus, lactose intollerance and stomach ulcers. My in-laws have studied nutrition for many years and they have been on a low blood sugar rotation diet regularly. My mother-in-law in particular has been advising me about dietary changes that can help during the course of my w/d. Most of these you have listed and I will say that the conclusions you have reached about refined sugars, glycemic effects on the blood stream, insulin resistance, depression, etc, are very much the same as coming from what my in-laws have learned and practiced over the years. In fact, I will say that often times, when I was (or still am), hit with certain symptoms, my mother in law will usually try to jog my memory as to what have I been eating the last few days and to try to avoid certain kinds of foods to see if I notice any improvements. One thing I have learned is to not overload my stomach with food before going to bed, if I expect to get a good nights sleep! Also, I don't drink any coffee after 12:00, because I know that if I do, I may be to wired to get to sleep at night. As of now, my biggest vice is probably coffee with sugar added. I do notice a pick me up after drinking 2 cups and then later a crash afterwards. I would probably do so much better in the long run, if I would stop using coffee and sugar. Right now, I'm finishing up a remeron taper, so I don't want to do any other tapering from caffeine until my body can free itself completely from medication. Also, the physical excerecise (walking and excercise bike) has been a real plus in getting me through life both pre and post benzo and I highly recommend it! Getting the blood flowing to the brain and through the body helps to create well being and stamina and is one of the best mood inhancers I know!
Great post, V, and I hope that more members will comment and provide some feedback!