By Amira Francis
Have you ever thought about glucose? I have. In fact, for about three months, that’s pretty much all I’ve been thinking about. After displaying several worrisome symptoms for about six months or so, I knew I had to change something. Constant fatigue, on-and-off depression, and brain fog obstructed my ability to function as a freshman in college. I mean, they would probably affect you no matter where you are in life. So I decided to take action.
My doctor took a few blood tests and the results showed slight insulin resistance. It’s a precursor to glucose intolerance, she told me. Which is a precursor to diabetes. Cut out glucose, she said.
Glucose is essentially sugar. It is a main source of energy, and is absorbed directly into your bloodstream, instantly raising your blood sugar levels.
Cutting it out of my diet was even harder than you might think. Do you know how many foods have glucose in it? A lot. No more pasta. No more cake, bread, bagels, muffins. No alcohol and no processed meats. Oh, and no sugar.
Food allergies and intolerances have been getting a lot of media attention lately. Besides glucose, gluten also seems to be becoming a bigger problem as well. Gluten is in fewer things than glucose. It’s primarily found in barley, wheat, rye and their derivative foods. More and more, you find cafeterias with gluten-free stations (Boston University dining halls, anyone?) and restaurants that have gluten-free food options. It’s fantastic that restaurants and other food places are trying to accommodate those with gluten problems, but the fact that they need to do that in order to stay modernized lets you know that gluten really is becoming more of a problem. New York Times published an article on Saturday outlining a couple of studies that startled those who examine gluten autoimmune disorders.
In the study, they focus on Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder where the gluten in foods causes the body to turn on itself and attack the small intestine. Basically (and you should probably read the study for yourself), the causes of gluten disorders (and other auto-immune disorders, such as diabetes) are becoming more and more convoluted. Is it genetic? Does it have to do with microbes? Bacteria? How often did you come into contact with gluten when you were a baby? Maybe all of the above have some sort of influence on it? It’s a mystery that begs to be solved.
For the time being, those who are lucky enough to have avoided these autoimmune disorders should enjoy the delicious breads and sugars while you can. For those of you who have some sort of glucose or gluten intolerance? It might be time to lay low on your favorite foods. Or at least, be mindful. That’s what I’m doing. Although, for me, it’s hard to stay away from glucose (which I am supposed to avoid) completely. I’ll still take my pasta and bagels on occasion, thank you very much.