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Sugar – it's everywhere

I was a little bummed when I got diagnosed with gestational diabetes at the beginning of my second pregnancy. This is usually a time when a woman can treat herself to a milkshake or brownie and not feel too guilty about it - but that’s not the case when you have to check your blood glucose levels four times a day and report to a nutritionist every two weeks. There has been a silver lining about having to say no to sweets, though: I’ve become better at reading nutritional information and, as a result, I've been making healthier choices by picking the right carbs.

Over on the The Checkup today, Washington Post health columnist Jennifer LaRue Huget points out something I quickly learned as a "diabetic:" Sugar is everywhere. And while we should be getting our sugar from fruits and whole grains, in reality, Americans get most of their sugar from processed foods and sweetened beverages. In her entry, LaRue Huget goes into detail about hidden sugars, like those in yogurt marketed towards kids:

...YoPlait has been busily promoting its YoPlait Kids yogurts “with 25% less sugar than the leading kids yogurt.” That 25 percent claim perplexes me: A 113-gram serving of YoPlait Kids has 13 grams of sugar, but that’s about the same amount in the other kids’ yogurts I saw. In fact, YoPlait’s own TRIX yogurt has 14 grams of sugar per 113-gram serving. (Dannon’s Drinkable Swingin’ Strawberry Banana has 14 grams per 110-gram serving, and Chobani’s Honey-nana has 13 grams per 100-gram serving, Stonyfield YoKids Strawberry has 13 grams of sugar per 113-gram serving.) Whichever kind you choose to feed your kid, it comes with a fair amount of sugar, some of which may be naturally occurring in the milk used to make the yogurt. But much of it is added to make that yogurt sweeter-tasting.

LaRue Huget doesn't mean to be a "Debbie Downer" (she mentions how she struggled with having a sweet tooth as a kid) - but she's serving up a little reminder that even when we try to eat healthfully, we’re likely consuming more sugar than we think. Or need.

Previously: "Healthy" chocolate milk, coming to a school near you and Sixth graders saying no to chocolate milk?
Photo by _Hoot

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