“Sugar-Free, That’s Me!!”

Diagnosed with diabetes in 1959, too many private and public adjustments had to be made in order for me to live comfortably and acceptably.  Relatively unknown and unpopular as opposed to today’s pandemia with this disease, available “treats” of any kind were unknown, nonesixtent.

Taken from Chaper 8 of “MyDiabetic Soul – An Autobiography” by A. K. Buckroth, page 104

“…One of the first sugar-free goodies I distinctly recall was something called “fizzies.”  I do not know where my mother found and purchased them.  I did not care!  They were pretty cool, creative and innovative-wise.

“Comparable to the present day antacid item known as ‘Alka Seltzer,’ fizzies could be dropped into a glass of water where one would fizz and be drunk.  Available in a variety of flavors, orange was my favorite.  I would also eat them whole, letting one flavor or the other fizz in my mouth.  The root-beer flavored fizzie was also tasty.  They made my tongue turn color, which was even cooler!  Eating them that way caused my mouth to burn and become sore.  I did not care.  Fizzies were for me

“Occasionally I would allow my brother and sisters to to experience a fizzie or two, but I never let my supply get too low.  The neighbor kids were in awe and wanted to try them but they did not like them.  I was already adapted to that sugar-free taste, the bitter twinge that is left in your mouth after eating or drinking something that is sugar-free.  Fizzies are no longer available on a grand marketing scale, but I have been able to locate them at a small and private retailer.

“Sugar-free chewing gum was introduced to me while at [The Clara Barton Birthplace] camp.  Tasteless as this was, it was sheer joy that such  a thing existed.  However, it was like chewing on a tasteless peice of rubber and hardened quickly.

“The inroduction of sugar-free soda, ‘TAB.’ was absolutely delightful.  The following is a brief history of this product:

TaB was Coca-Cola Company’s first sugar-free drink, introduced in 1963.  Its name was a play on the notion of people keeping ‘tabs’ on their weight.

“Although sales of TaB were surpassed by the introduction of diet Coke, the brand still has fiercely loyal fans that have been known to travel hundreds of miles to find their favorite drink.’  (http://www@lundy.org.)

“The availablility of this delight was a splurge in my mother’s budget.  Although I was the only one to drink it in our household if only because my siblings did not have an acquired taste for anything sugar-free, mom found something else for them to enjoy.

“…At approximately the same time [of TAB’s introduction], another sugar-free soda product made its way into our household.  Although not as appreciated as ‘TAB,” mom bought this new ‘Fresca‘ for me and then helped me drink it.  Thank goodness!  [Initially, I did not care for Fresca.]

“Since its inception, Fresca has been marketed in the United States as a calorie-free, grapefruit-flavored soft drink, ostensibly catering to discriminating adult tastes.  In 1985, the drink was given its one major ingredient change in that it was now being sweetened with aspartame.  (http://www.en.wikipedia.org.)”

Taken from Chapter 4, “Tempestuous, tempting holidays.”

“I would like to make a special note regarding all store-bought, sugar-free treats.  They cause gas.  Yep.  Made with sugar alcohols, diuretics if you will, please be forewarned of gassiness and bloating when eating sugar-free products! 

“Sugar alcohols are sorbitol, maltitol and xylitol.  In fact, to prove my theory of gassiness to unbelievers, I have had many comical opportunities to share sugar-free treats with non-diabetics.  I made a believer out of them!  My most recent finding was a bagful of sugar-free Baby Ruth chocolate bars.  I could not believe it!  [Sugar-free Baby Ruth bars were (are) available!]   However, I am speechlessly delighted in just kowing that they exist!

Why Sugar-Free Foods Have a Laxative Effect”  by Kirsten McNutt, PhD., JD

Like fiber, sugar replacers are only slightly digested – or not at all.

“Therefore, [the] most low-digestible carbohydrate that is eaten is not absorbed.  The body’s normal response to unabsorbed carbohydrates is simply to dilute them by pulling water across the intestine lining in the upper part of the intestine.  When low-digestible carbohydrates move into the large intestine, most of that water moves back in the opposite direction.  Depending on how much water flowed in and out, stools might be unchanged, soft or loose.  This is why low-digestible carbohydrates are sometimes used to relieve constipation.

“Some bacteria that live in the large intestine can ‘eat’ low-digestible carbohydrates, and they use this type of carbohydrate for their own growth.  After they have eaten, gases and short fatty acids remain.  That’s why beans, fiber and other sources of low-digestible carbohydrates may cause an increase of gas.  Recent research shows that some of the short fatty acids promote intestinal health.  Furthermore, two sugar replacers (isomalt and lactitol) have been found to stimulate the growth of ‘good’ bacteria in the intestine.

“The possibility of loose stools and gas can be reduced by eating only small quantities of low-digestible carbohydrates.  Give your body some time to adjust to digensting these foods.”  (Diabetes Interview Magazine, February 2004, Issue 139, Volume 13, Number 2.)

“Well, thank you very much Dr. McNutt.  This answers my questions and decades of eating, often gluttonously, so so many sugar-free treats.  Now people will believe me!

And so, dear reader, I felt compelled to share this historical account with you.   More facts are shared in “My Diabetic Soul -…” but this is enough for one day.

Best regards to your health and your spirit!  Take care…

A. K. Buckroth, Author, Speaker (mydiabeticsoul.com).

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