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Sugar

A recent USDA survey revealed that Americans eat an average of 20 teaspoons a day of sugar which is added to foods. The Nutrition Facts panel show the total amount of sugar per serving, but that is a combination of naturally occuring as well as added sugars. Added sugars appear on the ingredients list, but not the the amounts. Common added sugars include white, brown, and raw sugar, corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses or sorghum syrup, and fruit juice concentrate. No matter which form is added, nutritionally, it is the same as white table sugar. Sugar provides 16 calories per teaspoon and virtually no nutrients. The average American gains 320 empty calories every day.

In 1996, we consumed an average of 25 pounds of sugar more than we did in 1986. The main culprits are soft drinks and low-fat foods. Soft drink consumption increased from 28 gallons per person per year in 1973 to almost 53 gallons in 1996 so it is no surprise that they contribute more sugar to the average American's diet than any other food. Generally, sugars are used to replace fats in low-fat foods.

The USDA recommends limiting added sugar to 6 teaspoons if you eat 1,600 calories a day, 12 teaspoons if you eat 2,200 calories a day, and 18 teaspoons if you eat 2,800 calories a day. The rationale is that sugar contributes to obesity and in people who are insulin-resistant, sugar raises their risk of heart disease because it boosts triglycerides more than other carbohydrates do. Reducing our sugar intake will be harder than you think. Just take a look at this list...

Food Serving Sugar Tsp
Pepsi 12 fl 41g 10
Coke Classic 12 fl 39g 10
Hershey milk chocolate bar 1.6 oz 22g 5.5
Nabisco Double Stuf Oreos 2 cookies 13g 3
Kellogg's Fruit Loops 1 cup 15g 4
Dannon Vanilla Lowfat Yogurt w/ Fruit 1 cup 51g 13
Dannon Premium Plain Yogurt 1 cup 16g 4
Mott"s Apple Sauce 1/2 cup 23g 6
Hi-C Orange Drink 8 fl oz 31g 8
Tropicana Premium Orange Juice 8 fl oz 22g 5.5
Quaker Instant Oatmeal - Cinnamon 1 packet 16g 4
Quaker Instant Oatmeal - Regular 1 packet 0g 0
General Mills Almond Oatmeal Crisp 1 cup 16g 4
Kellogg's Smart Start 1 cup 15g 4
Kellogg's Sugar Smacks 3/4 cup 15g 4
Kellogg's Corn Flakes 1 cup 2g .05
Prego Traditional Pasta Sauce 1/2 cup 15g 4
Franco American Mini Ravioli 1 cup 15g 4
Campbell's Old Fashioned Beans 1/2 cup 14g 3.5
Campbell's Tomato Garden Soup 1 cup 12g 3
KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce 2 Tbsp 12g 3
Hellmann's Fat Free Honey Dijon 2 Tbsp 10g 2.5

The Good News: Americans are eating 20% more vegetables than they did in 1970. The Bad News: The increase is predominantly potatoes - half of which are in the form of French fries.

Honey contains natural antioxidants. Dark honey is more healthy than light Honeyhoney because the darker the honey, the more antioxidants it contains. Honey should not be fed to infants - it may cause botulism.

Salmonella is usually associated with raw chicken or eggs, but alfalfa sprouts?? Growers are working with scientists to eliminate the risk, but the solution has eluded them because the bacteria may hide in the crevices of the seeds. To be safe, don't serve alfalfa sprouts to young children, the elderly, or anyone with a weak immune system.

Americans purchased more than 2.2 billion 6-ounce cans of tuna each year. If you do the math, that should total about 814 million pounds of tuna, right? Wrong! According to federal regulations, a 6-ounce can of solid tuna only has to contain 3.75 ounces of tuna while a can of chunk tuna, which is less compact, must contain only 3.29 ounces. How's that for a fish tale? There's a proposal on the FDA table to make the total amount listed on a food label the drained weight (for all foods, not just tuna) and serving sizes would have to match up to the total weight. Predictably, no one knows when the proposal might be adopted.

Although there is no consensus that garlic (it can't be patented!) can Onionsreduce cholesterol, lower cancer risk, reduce tumors, or act as a general protective agent, the "stinky rose" adds such pizazz to food that it seems foolish not to include some in your diet. Studies touting garlic suggest as little as one clove a day. To preserve the potentially beneficial sulfur compounds, chop or crush the cloves, then set it aside for 15 to 30 minutes. The waiting time allows the chemical reactions that produce the biologically active compounds.



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