When I bite into a piece of pineapple or an orchard fresh apple the natural flavors and sweetness dance on my tongue. Though I have always enjoyed them, they have become pure pleasure. After 10 years of slightly high blood sugar, my numbers have plunged along with my pudgy waistline into the normal range. So, why this change?
First let me say, I hope you don’t have to face a serious health challenge to experience this difference. I have always strived to be healthy, to eat well and exercise in an attempt to avoid the negative impact of diabetes that I have watched my father, uncle and grandmother endure. In spite of this, I had low-level metabolic syndrome throughout my 40s and wondered whether it was just a matter of time before my genes won out. (Metabolic syndrome simply means blood sugar, cholesterol and weight above normal that are markers for possible heart disease or diabetes down the road.)
Enter the challenge of chronic Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that when not treated promptly or adequately becomes difficult to treat and results in many problematic issues such as joint pain, nerve issues, fatigue, impaired brain function, etc. Sugar is a fuel for Borrelia Burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme. Sugar also feeds yeast (Candida). Lyme patients are at high risk for Candidasis (yeast infection) since one of the primary treatments for Lyme is antibiotics. So the logical course of action which I was highly motivated to follow was to eliminate all added sugar in my diet. As a result, the extra 20 pounds I have been carrying fell off so quickly I was actually alarmed until it stabilized at what I used to weigh in high school. But more importantly my blood sugars have dropped squarely down into the normal range which gives me hope that I might just be able to avoid becoming diabetic after all. At the same time, since insulin resistance is linked to cholesterol imbalances too, my cholesterol numbers have dropped into the normal range as well.
So if you have stuck with me and read this far, what do you think about experimenting with reducing sugar in your diet? Do you think it makes sense to try it for a few weeks or a couple months and see what happens? What are your thoughts?
To help prevent yeast infections and protect the immune functions of the gut while on antibiotics it is important to add “good bugs” back into your digestive system. For a short-term course, eating good yogurt or kefir might do the trick. For long-term antibiotics, high-dose probiotics are needed which can be supplemented from natural sources such as kefir, fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kombucha.
If you prefer making big dietary changes with the support of a medical practitioner, your local Naturopathic physician would make a great partner.
Mary Hyman, PHD – The Blood Sugar Solution
The Prevention Institute on marketing sugar to kids
2 thoughts on “Why my food tastes better: How I reversed metabolic syndrome”
I agree with you that REAL food tastes much better to me now than when I was a carbohydrate addict. There is nothing so joyous as picking fresh organic produce from my garden and knowng that it not only tastes great, but is fueling my body with optimal nutrition. I have had many of the same health problems (except no lyme diagnosis), and I’m halfway through recovery. My digestive system is the last holdout.
Glad to hear that you are making progress with your healing too. In NH we are getting to the end of harvesting things in the garden. I still have some hardy greens like kale & tatsoi and some carrots, beets & kohlrabi. It IS a good feeling to pick something organic and eat it right away while the vitamin content and flavor is at peak.