On Diabetes – Fruit Juice? Should we give it up? – update – ‘appy?

There are, I admit, a few things I don’t understand. For many years I’ve been singing the mantra that I don’t believe in science because it changes its mind every two years. My son corrects me and has explained that what is really happening is that science writers are mis-reporting science. For example, not very long ago there was a ludicrous headline in the paper that suggested it was fine to drink multiple cups of coffee every day. (Perk up, that 25th Cup of Coffee won’t harm your heart, Jonathan Page, 12.01. am. The Times June 3rd 2019), bit.ly/2LNgTxu

I sent my son a jokey whattsap message about the headline, as my children have told me several times to give up my coffee a day, and this seemed to exonerate me. He was not amused. He is right. The Times should know better. It was lazy reporting, designed to please people like me, no doubt, and in that sense it did its job. Except for the fact that I recently heard one of the heads of The Times stating on radio 4 that she felt The Times had a serious role in public information. This then goes against their ethos, surely.

Currently there is a health crisis going on; diabetes is on the increase; It is preventable before you have it, but we are confused about what causes it.

This morning I woke at 5.10 am to be confronted with the news that juice is really very bad for you. I used to drink squash as a child. I was lucky enough to be promoted as an 18 year old to the role of manager, and had a reasonable income which meant I could choose what I ate until my separation in 2008 when I was reminded of how sexist the world so often is and how biased against working mums; It seems my prior wealth was a curse, since I drank copious amounts of orange and apple juuce, not to mention making smoothies for years because there was a craze for them in the 8Os; we thought they were healthy at the time.

I heard a scientist on the radio recently discussing the misinformation about zero calorie fizzy drinks and how this research has been misunderstood as well. He implied we shouldn’t drink them either. Is this another epidemic waiting to happen? So many people drink energy drinks. Personally, I’ve never trusted anything low calorie. I rarely drink fizzy drinks. Still this blog is not all about me.

The irony of this blog is that yesterday, I plugged my lead into the Costa Thornbury socket and got a Shock right in the centre of my hand. This may be entirely my fault for plugging the plug in without first plugging it into my phone; still I reported it twice; the first time the lad didn’t bother writing it in the accident book. I don’t want it to happen to anyone else if it is a fault with the socket. (Thankfully the two female members of staff that spoke to me today had the wherewithal to get out the accident paperwork when I informed them this was not done by their male colleague yesterday, and one of them asked me how I was.) This is the sort of good service I give my customers, and yet I let it go yesterday when the male staff member gave me poor service. Why I do no know. I’ve had a pain in my hand on and off today, although I thought it went away yesterday. Pain is telling you something. I didn’t ring 111, I rang mum ( always a fan hand at fixing things), who said she thought if that had happened there was something wrong with the wiring in the cafe. I really don’t want to keep going to the doctor. Instead I decided to skip my 30 k ride tonight, and take it easy.

I feel like the protagonist from a very funny book I picked up in that wonderful Dorothy House bookshop in Broad Street, Bath; it’s called The Examined Life, after the quote attributed to Socrates, “The Unexamined Life is not worth living” – the book is a sartorial comment on overthinking.  Every page has me in fits of laughter. (Not to be read if you suffer from anxiety.) Of course Socrates was referring to much deeper existential problems not the ones discussed by the protagonist in The Examined Life, which are largely environmental dangers to health.

Still, I have tried to be healthy, and if I failed well then you cannot say I haven’t done my best. This preoccupation reminds me of my dad’s best friend who drank a glass of milk every day and was a keen jogger, yet he still died, at around fifty, from a heart attack.

My wonderful blessing of a 3rd daughter has recently given me a lovely bottle with a special shelf in which to stack fruit. You then insert this into your water and this gives it a wonderful flavour. I tried this today and it’s delicious. I think this will be my new regular carry about drink. I do drink plenty of water, but in this heat you need something else, and for some reason the flavour of fruit feels refreshing.

I’ve just received an email from the diabetes prevention team asking me for my thoughts on an app they are developing to help prevent diabetes. I adore apps; they are so motivational. I read the questionnaire and was really disappointed in the app content; there was nothing about interacting with fellow sufferers, or being given kudos for achieving goals. Are these purely attributes of the @Strava app? They shouldn’t be. Twitter, when used for good, is a place where writers can interact, intersect and support one another. What would be wrong with an app that was designed on the same principles. As I’ve said before in these diabetes avoidance blogs, we are all interconnected; this is the basis and foundation of all life, and in order to thrive we need to support one another to be out best, and to help one another to achieve balanced lives that nurture us.

In the meantime, as we used to say, or murp, as my youngest teen says, take it easy, or, be easy on yourself; as my dad used to say, which I never truly understood until today, “it’s not the coffin’ you want to worry about, it’s the coffin they carry you off in. ” He then laughed heartily, and after all, “laughter is the best medicine.”

All my love, Hermione


Published by hermionelaake - Awards-nominated writer and associate editor O:JA&L

Whilst working on long fiction, Laake/Wilds write short stories, poetry, essays and blogs weekly. Laake appeared on Blog Talk Radio in 2016 in an interview across continents with Susan Wingate. Laake is an awards nominee, Jointly-published and Indie writer. Nominated for the Avon and Authonomy First Lines prize, 2014 and the H. G. Wells Grand Prize for Fiction, 2013 for the original #MYFRIENDALIEN out on AMAZON BOOKS in 2022. Flash fiction is published with Open: Journal of Arts and Letters. Laake has an MA from KU with distinction and a BA in English Literature.

6 thoughts on “On Diabetes – Fruit Juice? Should we give it up? – update – ‘appy?

  1. Thanks for sharing, this was a very interesting read. Do you know when you will be posting those two articles?

    1. Hi, I’ve added The Times article information. I haven’t found the zero calories interview yet. I’ll persevere. Thanks for your interest.

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