My health is something I usually don’t discuss especially in a public forum. Prior to August 2015 my daily diet consisted of a lot of sugar. I never payed any attention to the ingredients of anything I consumed. I love Dr. Pepper and drank 3-5 everyday. I have been doing this for many years…about 35 years at least. A 12 oz can contains around 40 grams of sugar…yes, do the math…that’s a lot of sugar just in soft drinks per day. In addition to other high sugar items, I was consuming way too much sugar. To sum it up…I ate what I liked, when I liked, and had as much as I wanted.
I woke up one Sunday morning with chest pains and I agreed to go to the Emergency room. Thank you Laurie (my wife) for insisting I go.
This was the first time in my life I was a patient in the hospital. I’ll admit I was scared!!
My fasting blood glucose reading was 280. The Dr. said I was borderline diabetic. Unless I made changes in my diet and exercise I would be on daily medication for the rest of my life. Now anyone that knows me understands I hate to take pills. I rarely take any medication unless I’m really hurting bad. I had a decision to make and here is what we did.
First, I gave up Dr. Pepper and all soft drinks. Yes, it was hard. I had headaches daily for several weeks or so. But, it got better. I stared substituting soft drinks with a very small amount of juice and club soda. I drink about one part juice to 5 parts club soda. I still get the carbonation without so much sugar. It’s a lot more healthy and cheaper also. I drink more iced tea and water. I do think about having a Dr. Pepper occasionally but the effects of giving it up outweighs my desire to have any.
Second, I started to read food labels. Mainly the sugar content and portion size. I also installed an app on my phone-MyNetDiary Diabetes It has a built-in scanner for bar codes on food. I highly recommend it!! The first time we used it to go grocery shopping we spent about 2 hours in the store. It does get better and faster once you get used to and know which foods are not good for you.
My wife, Laurie gets a lot of credit by changing the way we eat and what we buy. Wheat bread only, low sugar on most everything, and high fiber-high protein foods. No white flour, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. We have found low sugar ketchup, low sugar pancake syrup, bar-b-q sauce, jellies, and more. It doesn’t taste much different than the loaded sugar items. Something she has tried and we both think is wonderful is Monk Fruit extract. It is about 150 times sweeter than sugar and grown in Asia. It is zero calorie, zero carbs, no fat, no sodium and most importantly it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. She has made lemon sour cream cakes, key lime pie, and cheese cakes which tasted wonderful. I have also eaten and tried a lot of things I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. We have both changed what we eat and it has had a positive effect on both of us. Exercise has increased some also but watching what we eat has played a larger part of our success.
Now for the effects of lowering sugar intake. I feel better, more alert, and not so tired. I think much clearer and my energy level is much higher now. I lost about an inch in my neck, and lost belly fat. I weighed about 170+ before- now about 10-12 pounds less. I haven’t eliminated sugar from my diet, but rather drastically reduced my intake of it. I have eaten certain items on occasion such as a cookie or cake which tasted too sweet. Now that is a big, positive change from before.
16 months later….As I said in August 2015 my blood glucose was 280. Fast forward to December 2016 and my reading was 97, which is considered normal.
Sugar is not bad for you, BUT the amount that is in certain foods is way too much. Pay attention to what you eat and how much sugar you ingest daily…it might just surprise you. This is what worked for me and I’m thankful it did.