Cherry Concentrate: A Cautionary Tale

One of my little styrofoam crosses is rheumatoid arthritis.  I’m also under 40… for a little while, yet.

It not only runs in my family, but was triggered in my early thirties by an accident that damaged a joint pretty badly. I was on disability for years thanks to what happened. However, I got better (to the surprise of some doctors) and the arthritis made it’s appearance a few years later. My doctor informed me that this was not unusual for this disease.

So I am on a medication to manage it. Though it doesn’t  seem to deter all symptoms.  So there’s the cherry syrup, and of course vinegar. But you will want to make sure that these combined with your medication won’t wind up being too diuretic.  I find that having the vinegar in, say two tablespoon amounts three times a day (which I have seen recommended in some places!)  is way way too much. I use two teaspoons,  I put it in 16-20 oz of  water, and it doesn’t taste too bad to me.

Traverse_cherries

photographer=David Jakes |photographer_location=Naperville, USA

The thing about Cherry Syrup is that  you can’t really trust the label about serving size. If you are conscientious and read the package, you would be inspired to use 1/8th of a bottle on your morning breakfast cereal.  If you do this every day, the risks outweigh the benefits– literally. My dietitian tells me that it would be enough to foster weight gain all by itself.

Now, it is possible that I’m unusual in that sugar levels seem to affect my life a good deal. IT comes with my endocrine disorder, I guess.  But using this much cherry syrup, is not only overpoweringly sweet (to my palette anyway) but can cause the careen and crash patterns that too much sugar can undoubtedly do. Besides, in my experience anyway– one doesn’t need that much to make a big difference in a dramatic way, such as, say, putting on my wedding ring.

Because of the general nature of the sugar content, I put about a tablespoon on my breakfast cereal. That is plenty to taste good, have good effect on my general health, and my blood sugar stays in check. I then have my vinegar for lunch in my glass of water. Sometimes I add some lemon. Yeah, I like things very tart sometimes.   That way there isn’t too much action going on at once, and it creates a good rhythm to the day.

Another fine trick, if blood sugar is a problem, is to make a drink consisting of 8 oz of water, 2 teaspoons of cranberry concentrate, and 1 tablespoon of cherry concentrate. I don’t add any sugar, but if it’s still not well for you, Nectresse or any of the Lo Han sweeteners really shine, for what little aftertaste you might expect melds seamlessly with the cranberry.

While it is not enough to kick a bladder infection, it will keep the pipes squeaky, and it works as a maintenance dose. YMMV. To my taste, it also sweetens the cranberry pleasantly without over-sweetening or reeking havoc with the sugar levels. A diabetic friend verified this with her monitor and claimed it was sugar neutral, or perhaps lowered it.

If you haven’t tried the  Lo Han sweeteners yet, I promise they don’t’ taste anything like cranberries. In the products I’ve tried, I detect little or no aftertaste.

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