Since late summer, every grocery store, every gas station, and every place that sells sugary deliciousness has been tempting us, reminding us that Halloween is just around the corner. Now as this infamous holiday approaches, we’ve been pre-programmed and wired to want these “Fun Sized” candy bars. In fact, they’ve been in front of us for so long we not only want them, we must have them. And we will do anything to get them, including but not limited to dressing up as Rafael of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Because let’s face it, he’s awesome, and yes that’s what I’m going to be for Halloween, because I am awesome. On a completely different track unrelated to this article my family is going to go as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. There are four of us….it’s perfect. Now back to diabetes.
I’m not a hater of Halloween. Honestly, I couldn’t be even if I wanted to. My wife loves Halloween. She loves dressing up, she loves planning, she loves creating the costumes. Halloween is pretty much a family tradition. And yes, I give out candy because I’m not a jerk. You shouldn’t be a jerk either, so give out candy to the kids. Just don’t eat any.
Anyway, every holiday has their traditions and Halloween probably gets the number one place for giving out the most candy and sugar to the general population…ever. That being said, I would say Christmas is a close second, especially if my mom’s around. But the point is, no matter how hard you try to avoid all this sugary deliciousness you can’t help but keep being reminded of it because it is everywhere, staring you in the face.
No, eating one piece of candy will not make or break you. But, If you’re like me, who can really have just one piece of candy? I know I can’t. That’s why I have to hide it from myself and just give myself a daily allowance during this holiday. Or better yet, I just give it away. The main point is a lot of us use Halloween, Christmas, and other traditions as an excuse to overindulge. To basically binge eat.
Take me for example, this past week I’ve been at the beach. That’s why you haven’t heard from me for quite a long time, I haven’t been doing much of anything. I’ve also haven’t been logging my food, I haven’t been on my normal schedule, I haven’t been working out. And as a result I have been eating more junk food than I’ve probably eaten in the last 3 months in the course of a week. Yes, this a confession and yes I’m going to rectify this situation…starting tomorrow :-).
All joking aside these indulgences/traditions take its toll and this can be seen in the current epidemic of type 2 diabetes in the United States. It’s called an epidemic because it is increased exponentially over the course of 17 years. In 1990 less than 5% of the population had type 2 diabetes. That figure is now 7% which doesn’t seem like much, but if you think about it from a statistical standpoint that is a 40% increase! So, basically every 21 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes. If that isn’t terrifying, I don’t know what is…expect for spiders.
I am going to try and keep this part really short, but if you want more details, click here.
At the most basic level when you have diabetes your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin (type 1) or you can’t use the insulin that you do produce (type 2). The result is that sugar builds up in your bloodstream. This is bad news because high levels of sugar damage your body such as your heart, your kidneys, this can lead to blindness and even cause amputations. And those with diabetes specifically adults are twice as likely to die early as those without it. These are all solid reasons we should avoid sugar.
Hopefully, it’s somewhat obvious. The more sugar you consume, the more stress you put on your pancreas to produce insulin and keep your blood sugar levels within a normal and safe range. The more Halloween candy you eat, the more stress you’re creating for your pancreas. And just like last week when I talked about the adrenal glands being overworked and becoming less proficient, the same thing can happen with the cells in your pancreas.
If your pancreas is consistently overworked, they cease to perform as well as they could because they can’t keep up with the demand. And what’s causing that demand? Candy and sugar. And where type 2 diabetes comes into play is your body becomes resistant to the insulin that your pancreas produces. This means your pancreas has to create more and more insulin to get the same effect that it did previously. Eventually you become resistance completely to the insulin your pancreas is producing and then you have type 2 diabetes and your insulin is worthless.
If you don’t have type 2 diabetes the good news is it’s completely preventable. All you have to do is live a healthy lifestyle and you will never have to worry about experiencing this terrible disease. If you currently have type 2 diabetes there is a lot of education out there that you can get to help control it naturally.
The best things you can do is try to keep your weight within the normal range. Consume healthy whole foods, that have little to no sugar, and of course exercise for at least 30 minutes 5 times per week.
These changes are almost too simple to be true, but they definitely are the enemy of type 2 diabetes.
In closing, for this Halloween think about the future versus the pleasure of the present. Don’t be crazy, yes have one or two pieces, but then stop. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew or in this case process. And what did this whole article have to do with spiders? Pretty much, absolutely nothing, spiders are just scary. Halloween is supposed to be scary, so I just came up with the title. My bad I’ll do better next time 🙂
Now go be awesome!
KELLEN LAKE – Or should I say Raphael, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle?!