Oh, Sugar, Sugar


In a world with  Unicorn Frappes, it’s hard to imagine that sugar is a noxious substance, and it’s even harder to imagine giving it up.

Gran was diagnosed with “sugar” diabetes about 10 years ago, and I firmly believe it was the primary stimulus to her disease. Numerous studies show the effects of sugar on the brain and how it curves cognitive functioning. A UCLA study reveals that too much sugar even alters our ability to learn.

It’s now more commonly known that there is a strong correlation between diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Read more about it here. There may be less awareness of sugar as a mood altering substance, although parents have claimed for years that too much sugar makes their kids hyper. While this is not necessarily the case, sugar can cause shifts in mood. In Gran’s case, her mood can be affected by eating sugar, or removing it from her before she has a chance to eat it.

“I watch my sugar,” Gran argues anytime we take a dessert away from her.

Despite Gran’s claim, she has a sweet tooth and likes to watch herself consume sugar. We have to hide sweets from her because she’ll sneak around the house looking for “something to nibble on,” and if she does eat food high in glucose, watch out. The above comic references last summer at our family reunion where she was filling up her tray solely at the dessert table. When I took the cupcake away from her, her voice dropped into this raspy range and her head spun around three times… Okay, I’m exaggerating; it only spun around once—but I wasn’t going to chance possible consumption of the cupcake. I yelled to my cousin Cole, “go long!,” and I threw it onto her tray.

I try to monitor my own sugar intake, but it’s a battle with all the processed foods and the demands of daily life. For now I’ll “watch my sugar.”





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