Friday, March 7, 2014

Just a Spoonful of Sugar...or Ten

Is it just me or has anybody else been reading and hearing a lot lately about how sugar is really bad for us?

I'm not talking about natural fruit sugars. I'm talking about the stuff that food manufactures put in things like pop and chocolate bars and pasta sauce and frosted breakfast cereals and bagels.

Yesterday, on my drive home, CBC radio was doing an interview with someone (I'm sorry but I don't remember who) and they said that, ideally, people should eat no more than 10 teaspoons of sugar per day. Less would be better but they realize how difficult it would be to even keep people to 10. They said that was the equivalent of one can of pop and one package of ketchup.

I don't drink pop - ever. Even as a kid I hated anything carbonated so pop is not a weakness of mine. Neither is juice which I dislike and will only drink to treat a low.

I do however have a few treats that I enjoy regularly and look forward to. For example, most nights after dinner, I sip a glass of red wine (dry, not sweet I swear!) and nibble on a few squares of chocolate. I start thinking about that chocolate sometime around 2pm. I eat it one little square at a time and it can take a half hour to eat all six little squares. I don't eat that chocolate. I savour it.

A few squares of chocolate certainly won't tip the scales on the daily sugar quota.

Oh, but wait, that's right. I have diabetes. And, like it or not, I eat all sorts of sugar. Even when I don't want it. Because, if I don't eat sugar when I need to, I will quickly end up in big big trouble.

Question: Does it count towards the 10 teaspoon limit if we don't actually want to eat the sugar?

Totally not fair!

I must admit that Dexter has been great at helping me cut down on the crappy sugars that do nothing for my health other than raise my blood sugar. For example: Dex 4s. They're wonderful at getting me out of a dangerous low but it's not like they're high in Omega 3s or iron or anything that can help justify buying them in the quantity that I do. They're just empty calories that I sometimes eat by the handful at 3am.

With Dexter, particularly during the day, I'm often able to spot a low coming on long before it arrives. When that's the case, I treat it with something a little healthier like dates, a banana or an apple. I can do that because I have enough warning and there is time to digest it and have it enter my bloodstream before I get in trouble. Still though, I do have lows that I can't treat that way and still end up eating packages of fruit chews, Dex 4s and drinking juice boxes. Sugar that I don't want. Sugar that the news reports are increasing telling me is bad bad bad for my health.

Funny how something that saves my life regularly is so darn bad for me.

I guess it could be worse.

Imagine if the only way to treat a low was to smoke a cigarette?

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