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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

You can get it - if you ask!   (May 9, 2007)

The other day, Steph and I were eating out at a new restaurant (new to us, that is). As is often the case, I ordered coffee, and then looked at the little container full of colored packets of sweeteners. There was the usual white (sugar), brown (Sugar in the Raw = turbinado sugar) pink (Sweet’N Low = saccharin in the US, cyclamate in Canada), and blue (Equal/Nutrasweet = aspartame) choices, but no yellow (Splenda = sucralose). And nearby tables didn’t have any yellow stuff showing. Of course, sucralose actually is white, but the color of the packaging is now part of the branding of these products.

Now, each of us has our own preferences about which - if any - sweetener to add to one’s coffee, but for me, as you might guess, I prefer the yellow stuff. So, I was confronted with a bit of a dilemma: what color to choose? I habitually sweeten my coffee with something, and I usually carry a few packets of the yellow stuff with my meter and associated supplies. But when I looked, I found that I had depleted my personal stash of the yellow stuff. Phooey.

Steph saw my look of extreme consternation, and immediately sensed what the problem was. And had the solution: ask the waitress if they might have yellow packets somewhere in the restaurant. Seems that some restaurants deliberately keep the yellow stuff out of reach - it’s too popular (and since it’s relatively expensive, a bit of a risk for petty thievery). Or maybe other patrons had depleted the visible supplies.So, she asked. And, yes, they did have it, and the waitress promptly brought out a handful. Hurray!

The moral of this story? You can get it - if you ask. True for a lot of things, including your choice of sweeteners.

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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