Wouldn’t you know it! Husband has Type II diabetes, and watches his carb intake very carefully. We rarely, if ever, have chips and such in the house. His blood sugar levels are quite stable and in the normal range. He loves to snack on figs, so I order organic Turkish figs for him from a place in New York that sells all sorts of dried fruit, candy, dried beans, baking ingredients, etc.
Husband doesn’t eat much candy at all, but has a love for black Finnish licorice. I really like it, too, and we go through a one pound bag of it pretty fast. The New York connection sells wonderful Finnish licorice, and the last time he ran out of figs, I decided to order three pounds of figs and, to save money, I bought a five pound bag of black Finnish licorice.
A few days after the licorice arrived, a news story emerged about the dangers of eating more than two ounces of black licorice a day. Some guy on the East Coast collapsed and died from heart complications from eating a pound of black licorice a day for months. Licorice root in any form apparently has a compound called glycyrrhizin that lowers potassium levels which can lead to heart arrhythmias. Even licorice tea can increase blood pressure. The guy who died apparently had a really poor diet, and was eating in a fast food restaurant when he collapsed. His potassium level was really low, and caused his heart to fail. Husband’s potasium levels were a little higher than normal at his recent checkup, probably due to figs, which are high in potassium. His blood pressure is in the average to low range.
All this hasn’t stopped our licorice eating, but it sure makes us hesitant to eat too much at once. The five pound bag on the counter might last pretty long time.
How do you respond to expert dietary advice? What favorite snack would be hard for you to give up?