Licorice Alert

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?

62 thoughts on “Licorice Alert”

  1. i don’t think i’ve ever gotten any dietary advice. i quit eating meat 50 years ago and a doctor asked me when i was 18 how i got my protein. i told him peanut butter and eggs and he seemed satisfied. when i first started being a veggie i was stumped. i didn’t know what i wanted to eat , i just knew i wouldn’t eat meat. roma cheese pizzas were available at the convince store on the corner for a dollar a piece(today they’re $2 and one of my favorite snacks )
    i’d buy them by the case and it seemed to be the perfect meal.i still buy them 20 or 30 at a time and my kids eat them like crackers.
    today my go to dietary fall backs are potato chips peanut butter eggs potato’s and tea. veggie meat just took a monster turn and where soy protein which messed with my gluten tolerence was the norm, the new deal is based on peas and it’s wonderful. it’s too pricy at $250 a veggie burger but it will come down and i imagine i’ll start learning how to cook with peas now that i’m glued in. instead of whipping up a batch of pinto beans or black beans i’ll try peas. lord knows what you add to peas to make them into something but i imagine it could be about anything… onions mushrooms greens garbanzos even pintos and black beans. lentils and peppers and squash and the options are endless

    i saw the licorice blip in the news alerts and rolled my eyes without ever reading the alert. doesn’t apply. 4 stick of black licorice in the last 20 years. when the pandemic hit my colleague who studies this stuff said licorice root tea is what’s needed to combat the virus. i ordered a pound of licorice root tea drank a cup and put it on the shelf in case i needed it as the world began coming to an end. i’ve thought about having a cup once or twice since then but it is kind of a beast unto itself, licorice doesn’t go with anything or compliment anything. it is it’s own deal.
    i’m a butter rum lifesaver guy. butterscotch in a pinch. it doesn’t really go with anything either but i like it.
    chips are the thing i’ll never give up. i go to aldi and buy them 10 or 15 bags at a time. the ones cooked in peanut oil are best. a little more expensive but worth it .
    oh and olives green , black and every variation
    and pickled stuff…
    this goes on and on doesn’t it….

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’m not familiar with those Roma cheese pizzas, but if your buy 20-30 at a time, and your kids eat them like crackers, they must be really small? Are they frozen? I’m having a hard time imagining this scenario.

      Also I’m wondering about the peas. Are you talking about dried peas, like split peas or what?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. roma cheese pizza is available at cub and gas stations
        12” sells for $3 on sale for $2
        competes with tombstone

        debbies from chicago so our pizzas get cut into squares
        on pizza makes 10 or 12

        peas
        i don’t know
        just that peas are new technology base
        taste kinda like geeen peas wheateher fresh frozen dried or split i’ll report back but they’re refreshingly different than the awful veggie burgers out the
        except the black bean chipotle burgers ummm

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Peas are legumes like beans – pinto, navy, black, garbanzo, kidney, soy, lots of kinds or beans – peas are related. They have higher protein that other veggies but can’t compare with other kinds of beans. I like Spicy Black Bean burgers. I buy them frozen in packages of 8. I think they’re affordable and stay frozen until I want them. Black bean chipotle burgers are definitely yummy.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. No, no frozen pizzas for us today. Mostly just because our freezer is full of stuff that we need to eat before I try to stuff more in there.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. OT: Joyce Sutphen poem from The Writer’s Almanac this morning.

    What The Heart Cannot Forget
    Everything remembers something. The rock, its fiery bed,
    cooling and fissuring into cracked pieces, the rub
    of watery fingers along its edge.

    The cloud remembers being elephant, camel, giraffe,
    remembers being a veil over the face of the sun,
    gathering itself together for the fall.

    The turtle remembers the sea, sliding over and under
    its belly, remembers legs like wings, escaping down
    the sand under the beaks of savage birds.

    The tree remembers the story of each ring, the years
    of drought, the floods, the way things came
    walking slowly towards it long ago.

    And the skin remembers its scars, and the bone aches
    where it was broken. The feet remember the dance,
    and the arms remember lifting up the child.

    The heart remembers everything it loved and gave away,
    everything it lost and found again, and everyone
    it loved, the heart cannot forget.

    Liked by 8 people

  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I have sought advice from Weight Watchers and a nutritionist and I do follow some of that. The problem with WW is that I am constantly hungry, which is unpleasant. After awhile, I just could not do it anymore. I also found that the nutritional products they sell as food was often quite artificial and yucky. I would rather live with the extra weight than eat that stuff.

    My favorite snack of all time is toast with real butter, and my own wild grape jelly. I don’t eat this often because I must keep my consumption of bread low—I am allergic to yeast. But it is still #1 favorite.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Hmm. No idea where that weird indent came from in the first paragraph. Anyway, I have had to give up Swedish meatballs and cashews because they cause flare ups of diverticulitis. I have tried on occasion to convince myself that my consumption of of them and a resulting flare up was just a spurious correlation, but I my experimentations have just resulted in consistent flare ups.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. I’m puzzled. Why do you think that finely ground meat would make a difference? Not trying to be contrary, here, just don’t follow the logic. I’m assuming you make your own so you know what all is in them as a way of seasoning etc?

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I’m wondering whether Danes might be genetically impervious to glycyrrhizin. They love salty black licorice, and consume large amounts of it. Husband would consider any birthday where he didn’t receive at least a couple of bags of Piratos as a seriously flawed. I usually ration them, though, otherwise he’d eat his whole stash in one sitting. I hide a couple of bags in my underwear drawer, and dole them out one bag at a time.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. My wife with her colitis and other diet issues, can eat beef only as hamburger. All other beef gives her diarrhea. When I buy hamburger I have noticed things like ground chuck look courser. Even though the chuck is often on sale, I avoid it. Not sure what it would do to her.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Moderation in all things edible is my motto. Pretty much applies to life in general. I have a sweet tooth, so I have to work hard at moderating my doughnut/turnover/muffin/ice cream intake.

    What little I know about nutrition leads me to believe there is no one-size-fits-all diet/exercise/nutrition plan that works for everyone. We all need to pay attention to our bodies, try different foods, judge their effect on our overall health and enjoyment of life, and build a basic diet from that. I gotta have carbs, gotta have at least a little meat, so I work on keeping the salt and fat intake down.

    And then we need to recognize that our bodies change over time and what worked in our twenties (like snarfing a 5-qt pail of Kemp’s ice cream per week between the two of us) doesn’t work in our 60s. 🙂

    “Oh, Death, where is thy sting?”

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Moderation is surely a good practice, Chris, although I wonder if I was born with an absent or defective moderation gene. My mother had an immoderate passion for M&Ms. She would wake up and find a huge empty bag of M&Ms in her lap and have no memory of eating them. It’s surely a good thing she didn’t fixate on licorice. I am, alas, my mother’s son.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. I do pay attention to nutrition, but I have never really followed a dietary regimen of any sort. I eat what I like, and I guess I’m lucky that I don’t have much of sweet tooth. Lots of fresh vegetables, a moderate amount of chicken, and pork, but very little red meat. We rarely eat fish, husband doesn’t like it.

    My favorite snack is corn chips with fresh hot salsa; hummus with pita chips and/or fresh raw veggies would be a close second. I much prefer salty and spicy snacks to sweet ones.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Clyde here.
    Sandy developed gestational diabetis with our 48 year old daughter. But it is sort of weird. She has never taken any drug or insulin. She used to watch her diet closely and control it that way, But she could cheat a lot and get away with it. For 15 years she did her blood twice a day. We could watch things spike and take things out of her diet. But she cheated a lot and it did not show much. 3 years ago her gp said not to do her blood anymore. She hung in the just above normal range all the time. A specialist here told her gp that we forget that normal ranges are a population average and she was probably in her normal range. She developed night blindness and has extremity issues but they could be from her lupus and nerve damage. Which is why she quit doing her blood, the damage to her fingertips.
    But, Renee, she absolutely cannot touch dried fruits of any kind. They are sugar packages and she can feel what they do to her. With all her health issues I can only make a few meals. Not all that healthy a diet but there it is.
    Side note with diet related issues: my daughter gave up a kidney for a friend. Next week my son gives up a kidney to cancer. That will have a big impact on his diet.
    This smokey air drives my eyes nuts. I can barely see tis small print. Forgive errors please.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I think you’re right about blood sugar levels, Clyde. I was labeled a “borderline diabetic” by a medical doctor when I was twenty-two. For years I had a glucose tolerance test once a year to monitor that I wasn’t migrating into full diabetic status. I finally rebelled and said no. Absolutely nothing changed over the years. My blood sugar is still in the high “normal” range, but doesn’t really fluctuate. I’ve concluded that’s the normal blood sugar level for me. I don’t know if there’s any correlation between that and my lack of interest in sweets, it seems plausible to me.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I think gestational diabetes can go away after the baby is born but not always. Maybe your wife’s gestational diabetes resolved itself, especially post-menopause? Maybe her problems with her circulation are caused by the other problems you mentioned? Sometimes there are added substances to dried fruits, like for coloring, that can have a negative impact. I opt for organic dried fruits for that reason.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. it sure is nice to have you back clyde. i just finished bill brysons the body and it gives you an understanding of all the stuff you take for granted until there is an issue and then how difficult it may be to get it straightened out

      i know you have been dealing with health issues in a big way for a while now

      i guess it’s part of the deal

      the smoke in your eyes isn’t messing with my reading your stuff at all. keep it coming

      Liked by 4 people

  8. The problem with nutritional advice is that first off you don’t know who to trust and second off even if you do trust the source it continually changes. This is good for you now, it’s bad for you now, it’s good for you again, now it’s bad for you again.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I get much of my protein these days from dairy. I love higher fat skyr, and my cholesterol has gone down and I have lost weight the more higher fat skyr I eat. I have a hard time explaining why that happened

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different scenarios for diet. Of course became a vegetarian 50 years ago but that was more out of concern for animals that it was for my diet. In fact I ate very badly the first few years because I just didn’t know what my options were. I can tell you that when I tried raw foods ( because my sister was doing it and I thought I should give it a shot) I only lasted a day and a half, because I just couldn’t go without cook food. I just couldn’t do it. And I have thought about veganism a couple of times but have never followed through, because the thought of going without dairy (in all forms!) just gives me shivers.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. yes it’s no fun cutting dairy
      i hate it but it’s a notacablr improvement when i avoid it

      as a veggie who doesn’t eat dairy or bread these days along with my abstinence from booze and cigarettes i find i’m kind of boring

      Liked by 4 people

  11. I’m mostly an ovo-lactovegetarian but I do eat chicken, fish and shellfish sometimes. There are healthful benefits from fish that are high in oils, like salmon. I also like eggs and dairy and get a lot of protein from those. I choose organic milk and local eggs whenever possible. Shrimp is a favorite but it’s really expensive and I don’t always trust the source. I’m really good about eating lots of fruits and veggies. I really like them. I substitute potatoes with brown or wild rice and avoid bread. I do like sweet potatoes though.

    I tried Noom starting in April 2019 and ending in December. It was somewhat effective. I lost 35 pounds in eight months but I have gained about 10 pounds back. The most effective thing about it was logging everything I ate. There were no restrictions, just a daily limit on calories. Mine was about 1200/day if I wasn’t getting any exercise. When I logged exercise, it would put more calories into my food budget. There were daily readings, lessons, and a support group available, which I shunned (anti-social introvert). There were coaches available; one was assigned to me and would check in weekly. It is meant to permanently change behavior by getting to the reason for snacking or for diet choices. Psychologists would love it! So, I followed it well for about six months, then I started dropping away. I ended it after eight months. I still log my food every day, my exercise too. I count calories but I pretty much eat whatever I want. One thing I have managed to avoid a lot more is ice cream. I am powerless over ice cream. It runs in my family. I just have to stay away from it.

    I’m still way too heavy and would love it if it was easier to lose weight. I’d like to lose another 50 pounds. I walk daily and I don’t pay too much attention to what I eat but I will eventually get more determined and go back to what I learned from Noom. I do recommend it for people who eat for emotional reasons.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. after reading the body i realize i need to kick it in the ass because it’s only going to get harder

    if i want to be in shape in 30, 20 or 10 years i’d better get a better daily dose of plugging it in now when i can

    deep knee bends and push ups are a start but the weightlifting bicycle riding regime really needs to happen

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Anise and licorice root taste much the same, but anise doesn’t have the same problematic compound that licorice does. Many things touted as licorice flavored are really flavored with anise.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. I worked for a nutritionist for a couple of years, who recommended more of a low carb, and that seems to work for me, but I agree there is probably no one diet that works for everyone. Most of what I learned there was how flawed some of the early studies that demonized eggs and saturated fats, etc. I now try to keep balanced, but I certainly make exceptions to that.

    Lately I’ve sworn off buying milk chocolate, and allowing myself only a small piece of dark chocolate daily (usually). My sugar cravings have vanished!

    Liked by 3 people

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