Sugar Crash

My own food education started 16 years ago when I turned 30. At that time, I was a Ph.D. student studying Cancer Genomics at Harvard Medical School. My life then revolved around my two main passions: research and sports. If I wasn't in the lab, I was most likely at Vandy playing volleyball, tennis, working out in the gym or simply out riding my bike. Although I was very active and in great cardio health, for a period of several months I was experiencing fatigue. I chalked it off to lack of sleep and stress from research.

I told my older brother about my fatigue and he proceeded to send me an extra blood glucose meter his wife (who is diabetic) had laying around. To my surprise, on the first day I measured my fasting blood sugar (FBS), I was prediabetic! I thought this must have been a mistake. I took another finger prick and it measured 105. As a scientist, I needed more data points. For the following week, I measured my FBS daily and it always came back between 102 and 105. I now have enough data points to conclude and accept that I was prediabetic. 😮 But how and why?

Was it my diet? It can't be. I didn't eat a lot of sweets nor desserts. I analyzed my diet and that's when I realized that I was drinking either juice or Coke as my main source of liquid. I averaged 3-4 cans of Coke a day along with 1-2 glasses of orange juice. To my surprise, when I added up all the sugar in the drinks, I was consuming anywhere between 156g to 216g of liquid sugar. I was surprised by the amount of sugar in a 12oz can of Coke--a whopping 39g of sugar in that small can!

Thus my journey to educate myself on the food we eat started back in 2004 at the age of 30. Ever since, I started reading all the labels of every product I bought and was astonished by all the hidden sugar in our everyday food, from "healthy" yogurt to pasta sauce.

With this blog, I hope to highlight and share my experience through the years. I will also be introducing an app due out soon to help consumers quickly understand whether the packaged food at the supermarket is "healthy or not".


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