Vitaminwater name misleading? You tell me.

August 14th, 2010

8.12 teaspoons

vitamin water The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) believes consumers are being misled by the name “Vitaminwater” and its counter names “Defense,” “Energy,” and “Revive.” And Judge J. Gleeson from the U.S. District Count for Eastern District of New York agrees.   Although the beverage does offer minimal amounts of vitamins and minerals, a 20 ounce container also contains a significant amount of added sugar – 8.12 teaspoons! 

 This is a victory for the consumer who wants to eat/drink more healthfully.  It’s sending a message to the big corporations that we no longer will be taken advantage of by misleading healthful claims.

SoBe Essential Energy (16 fl oz) – crystalline fructose???

July 26th, 2010

sobe essential energy14.75SoBe Essential Energy Drink (16 fl oz)

2 servings per container

240 calories per container

59 grams of sugar per container = approximately 14.75 teaspoons!

Contains “crystalline fructose” – IS THIS BETTER THAN HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP?

HECK NO!  Crystalline fructose is produced from fructose-enriched corn syrup that’s been allowed to crystallize.

One 20 ounce bottle of Coca-Cola (16.9 teaspoons of sugar) a day

July 19th, 2010

coke classic 67.5 grams 16.8 tsp

16.15 tspConsuming one 20 ounce bottle everyday for a year of a beverage similar to Coca-Cola may lead to the following:

– up t0 26 pounds of increased body fat

– over 25% increased risk for heart attack

– over 45% increased risk for developing gout

– 4% decrease in bone mineral density causing an increased risk for bone fractures (teenage girls who drank one 20 ounce bottle of a dark colored soda were five times for likely to experience a bone fracture)

– over 50% increased risk for developing tooth decay and/or tooth loss

– twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes than a person who consumes less than one soda a month

The Difference between Sucrose and High Fructose Corn Syrup

July 5th, 2010

Sucrose, commonly known as table sugar or refined sugar, is a disaccharide molecule which means it is two smaller molecules combined together to make one larger molecule.  During digestion, the larger sucrose molecule is split into its two smaller molecules – fructose and glucose.

The glucose molecule provides fuel (or energy) for all the cells in the body.  The glucose molecule also suppresses the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and stimulates the production of leptin.  Leptin, in turn, tells the brain that you are full and therefore your appetite is decreased.

The fructose molecule, on the other hand, is only metabolized by the liver and is converted to free fatty acids and triglycerides.  Additionally, it has zero effect on the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and can actually interfere with leptin levels (telling the brain that  you’re still hungry) leading to overeating.    

High Fructose Corn Syrup is processed fructose made from corn.  In 1966 the average person in this country consumed “zero” amounts of HFCS.  Today, as much as 15% of total calories consumed can be fructose calories.   

HFCS, like the fructose molecule from sucrose, is 100% metabolized by the liver, and because it is consumed in massive doses (over 62 pounds a year per person), it causes an overworked liver and can actually lead to liver damage.  Just like half the sucrose molecule, the fructose from HFCS converts to free fatty acids and triglycerides, and consuming 120 calories of HFCS can result in approximately 40 calories of stored fat.  In other words, consuming HFCS is just like consuming fat;  leading to obesity, high blood pressure and increase triglyceride levels.

It is my opinion that individuals who consume high levels of HFCS are not only consuming empty calories, they are also consuming poison.

Post Raisin Bran – 1 cup = 4.75 teaspoons of sugar

June 14th, 2010

raisin bran4.75 tpsServing Size:  1 cup

Teaspoons of sugar:  Approximately 4.75 teaspoons (19 grams)


Raisin Bran has more sugar teaspoons than Cocoa Puffs and Cinnamon Toast Crunch; however, I believe Raisin Bran to be the healthier choice.   Not only is the serving size for this cereal larger (1 cup versus 3/4 cup), Post Raisin Bran also provides more grams of fiber (7 grams versus 2 grams for Cocoa Puffs and 1 gram for  Cinnamon Toast Crunch).  Why does the amount of fiber in a consumable matter?   Fiber intake slows down the digestive process which allows a person to feel more full for longer periods of time.  A low fiber sugary cereal can be digested very quickly; therefore, the feeling of hunger comes on much sooner, and this, of course, leads to the potential for one to consume more calories. 

My advice:  if you want a sweet cereal, make sure it contains at least 7 or more grams of fiber per serving (most adults should consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day).

Cocoa Puffs – 3/4 cup – 2.75 teaspoons of sugar

June 2nd, 2010

cocopuffs2.75 teaspoons



Serving Size:  3/4 cup

Calories/serving:  100 (without milk) or 150 (with 1/2 cup skim milk)

Teaspoons of sugar/serving:  approximately 2.75 (or 11 grams)

*** Today’s cereal manufacturers are improving their brand’s nutritional value.  Although I’m in favor of consuming vitamins and minerals from whole and natural foods; this particular cereal does offer a good source of calcium and vitamin D.  Next week, I’ll post Kellogg’s Raisin Bran cereal which actually contains more teaspoons of sugar; however, it offers more grams of fiber.  I’ll also explain why fiber matters.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch – 3/4 cup – 2.5 teaspoons of sugar

May 17th, 2010

Cinnomin Toast   cinamon bowl

2.5 tsp

Serving Size:  3/4 cup

Calories/serving:  130

Sugar:  10 grams/serving or approximately 2.5 teaspoons/serving

*** This is not a bad choice when you consume the serving size amount (3/4 cup); however, if you’re consuming more than 3/4 cup, the sugar amount obviously increases.  Additionally, 1/2 cup of skim milk or 2 % milk can add another 3 teaspoons of sugar to the meal.


May 10th, 2010

Choices make independence possible. Our strong need for personal independence and autonomy would be impossible without choices. Therefore, the act of choosing to consume certain foods and beverages is considered a measure of independence. Studies have shown that individuals are more likely to take decisions and choices more seriously when they perceive a personal end result. Therefore, if a person knew, without a doubt, that they were consuming over 31 teaspoons of sugar in just one afternoon (a lollipop, a Skittles snack and a Hawaiian Punch beverage – see April 28, 2010 blog post), and if they knew the impact this much sugar has on their weight and overall health, I believe most people would chose otherwise!

Eliminating sugar from a diet or, at the very least, reducing sugar intake can be done quietly and privately. There’s no reason to announce to anyone that you’re on a diet, or that you want to change the shape of your body, or that you want to lose weight. All you have to do to quietly take charge of your body’s health and reduce your sugar intake is read the food label, mentally multiply the number of sugar grams by 4, visualize the sugar amount, and then chose whether or not you want to consume the item. Every time you say “no” to candy, mints, soda, sugary juice, cookies, and sugary snacks you’re gaining independence, self-control, confidence and ultimately a healthy body.

Choices allow independence to occur, and knowledge creates the ability to make smart choices. This blog is your link to knowledge, independence and a healthy body. Chose wisely!

YIKES . . . one snack can be 31.9 teaspoons of sugar

April 28th, 2010

Whoaaaa – I know it’s hard to believe but one simple snack can be three times the amount of sugar that’s considered an “ok” daily intake amount.  I say “ok” because there really isn’t a recommended daily “healthy” amount since sugar in the form of Sucrose or High Fructose Corn Syrup isn’t needed in any amounts.  In other words, added sugars have zero nutritional value.


Wait . . . don’t look below just yet at the 31.9 sugar teaspoon snack below because I want you to know what is considered an “ok” daily intake first. According to the American Heart Association, women should limit their sugar consumption to 6 teaspoons (or 24 grams), and men should limit intake to no more than 9 teaspoons (or 36 grams).  And kids . . . those humans who love, love, love sugar . . . should consume even less per day.  Preschoolers – no more than 4 teaspoons (or 16 grams); elementary school age kids – no more than 3 teaspoons (or 12 grams); and pre-teens and teenagers – no more than 5 to 8 teaspoons (or 20 to 32 grams).

Now get ready to be shocked and check out the snack below; one consumed at baseball games, town parks, amusment parks or anywhere there might be a concession stand.  A Hawaiian Punch drink, a bag of Skittles candy and a lollipop can add 31.9 teaspoons of sugar and 595 calories if consumed all at once.  Crazy, shocking stuff!!!

BD and HPunch 004101_0002tootsie roll



31.8 teaspoons


Tootsie Roll Pop

April 18th, 2010

2 teaspoonstootsie roll

Serving Size:  1 Tootsie Pop

Servings:  1

Calories:  45 calories

Sugar:  8 grams or approximately 2 teaspoons

teaspoon= 1 teaspoon = approximately 4 grams


* This may not seem like a lot of sugar but it can be especially if it’s consumed along with other high sugary foods/beverages !  Next week we’ll add this small lollipop to other sugary snacks!