I remember loving candy as a child and my live-in grandmother was my dealer. She was delighted to give me candy freely from her seemingly never-ending supply. I didn’t start to gain weight until I was in my twenties, then after I was married I got gestational diabetes with my first child. With my second child, I exercised and ate better but I still had my sweet tooth. I had cut down on my sweet consumption but not entirely. Of course in those days, bread and pasta and all those carby things didn’t count (who was I kidding!)
It was in my fifties that I was first diagnosed with sugar metabolism issues, although who knows how long I was like that, probably years, decades even. When I was having problems on the “pills”, I started to research and learn about insulin resistance and diabetes. I was horrified to learn that over time, everything would get worse and I would need more and more pills to manage my sugar and all the side effects. I knew there had to be a better way!
Good ole’ Hippocrates came to mind, ‘Let thy food be thy medicine’. So the first thing I did was cut out all sugar in my diet while I was trying to figure out what I could eat and what I couldn’t. Of course, I knew a bit about carbs and how they turned into sugar, so most of those went. Within about four weeks my blood sugar was normal, just with diet and walking for exercise. It’s probably been about ten years or so now and as long as I watch my carbs, I’m fine, but the research continues. The fact that both of my parents became diabetic, got dementia and cancer is impetus enough for me to take better care of myself.
Today, there are two approaches to blood sugar management and insulin resistance. The first one is to drastically reduce all carbs and increase fats, which has worked for me. But there is new research that shows that high fat diets lead to brain and cognitive impairment as one gets older, which is not cool. I’m including both talks by doctors and medical researchers so you can decide for yourself which route you would like to go. With both of my parents having blood sugar issues and cognitive impairment, my answer is clear.