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Sugar Surprise
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A Twinkie (shudder) has 18 grams of sugar. I think all the rest of the product is preservatives and coloring chemicals. I could be wrong. It's not food. It's a food-like substance.

Now that my jaundiced view of Twinkies is out in the open, imagine my surprise when I learned that there are a number of foods that I do eat that are higher in sugar content, per serving, than a Twinkie.

And I learned that for women, the limit of sugars per day should be 20 grams.

Yogurt with fruit, in a 6 oz serving, 32 grams. Ouch!

Tomato sauce per cup (about what I put on my pasta last night) has 24 grams of sugar. The sugar cuts the acidity of tomatoes.

My granola bar has (gulp) 18 grams of sugar, just like the afore-mentioned Twinkie.

Baked beans (a favorite around here) has 15 grams of sugar per cup. No wonder they're a favorite. Were a favorite, I should say.

Lemonade (I do love a frosty lemonade on a hot day) has 17 grams per serving. Bye-bye lemonade.

Other culprits: fat free salad dressing, muffins, canned fruit, smoothies, breakfast cereal, bar-b-q sauce, ketchup. Some of these are big items, when you realize you're eating more than the single serving (e.g. 1 Tablespoon of salad dressing. Who puts just 1 T on the salad?)

I've found that cutting down on refined sugar in my diet has had an unexpected bonus. Food tastes better. I can taste the natural sweetness in fruit (it's almost like candy) and the sweet nuttiness of whole grains now.

But I'll be the first to admit that it is hard to do. So many foods (and food-like substances) have sugar in them, some where you wouldn't expect it.

Yeah, I know the solution is to eat foods prepared from raw ingredients and to avoid -- or eliminate entirely -- prepared foods. I guess for me, as with most people, it's a compromise, though I'm making more intelligent choices as I get used to cooking from scratch.

Scratch, scratch.

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