Nancy Dell: Sugar cravings; Cinnamon supplements

Cinnamon can lower blood sugar

1. I often crave sugar.  How can I stop it?
Debbie, Internet

I think almost everyone craves sugar at one time or another, especially in response to stress. In fact, the word stressed spells “desserts” backwards; an interesting connection. Plus, research shows sugar is as addictive as cocaine. So try to keep sugar out of your house and work place so you don’t give into temptation. Out of sight, out of mind.

But when the sugar craving hits, new research from the University of Innsbruck in Austria shows a short walk can reduce the craving. The researchers had 47 people who regularly ate sweets refrain from eating them for 3 days. Then, in the lab they had half the group walk and the other half sit for 15 minutes. Then, they had both groups do a stressful task. Next, the groups were given candy and told to unwrap it and handle it without eating it. Their level of craving and emotional arousal were measured.

The people who exercised had less of an emotional response to the candy, and would be less likely to give into temptation. So the next time you’re stressed or crave the sweets, walk, dance, or just march in place to help dissolve the craving.

2. I take a cinnamon supplement.  Can it interact with any medication?
Mary, Westfield

In a word, yes.

Cinnamon can lower blood sugar, so if you take a medication to lower blood sugar, know the symptoms of low blood sugar and check your blood sugar regularly to be aware of any low blood sugar episodes you may have.

In addition, if you take tamoxifen or certain drugs to lower cholesterol, plus cinnamon, it can be toxic to your liver. Ask your pharmacist about your medications and cinnamon, and be sure to have your doctor check your liver for toxicity. Even though cinnamon is a natural spice, it can still cause some problems with medications.

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