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Whole Grain Benefits

15 Surprising Foods With Added Sugar



Many humble kitchen and pantry staples contain hidden sugars.

Credit: GMVozd / E + / GettyImages

If you’re watching your sugar intake, cookies, cakes, and soda are likely rarely on the menu. But sometimes it’s the foods that don’t even have a hint of sweetness that can unconsciously boost your extra sugar intake.

And we all need to pay more attention to our extra sugar intake: the average adult eats 17 teaspoons a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s just too much.

Individuals assigned a woman at birth should try to limit added sugar to no more than 100 calories per day, which is the equivalent of 6 teaspoons or 25 grams, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Individuals assigned a male at birth should limit their added sugar to 150 calories per day, which is the equivalent of 9 teaspoons or 36 grams.

Check out this list of surprising foods with added sugar.

You weren’t all that enthusiastic about the refined carbohydrates in white pasta, but it’s the sauce to watch out for. Many commercial tomato pasta sauces contain added sugar. So, find a tomato sauce that is free of added sugar by reading labels and comparing brands and products within brands.

Ideally, you want to buy a sauce that doesn’t list any form of sweetener – natural or artificial – in the ingredients list.

The many benefits of yogurt, good for your gut, include probiotics, as well as minerals like calcium, potassium, and magnesium. And while yogurt contains naturally occurring sugar – called lactose – most flavored varieties are also full of added sugars.

To keep added sugar at bay, look for a flavored yogurt with about 10 grams or less of added sugar (that’s 2.5 teaspoons). Or, buy plain or Greek yogurt and toss in your favorite fruits for a natural sweetener.

Even if you add a sweetener like honey or maple syrup to plain yogurt, most experts agree that what you add yourself is far less than what manufacturers add to flavored yogurts.

“We don’t know that spices are a really big source of added sugar. Adding just a tablespoon of ketchup to your burger can provide a teaspoon of extra sugar, ”says nutritionist Karen Ansel, RDN.

Look for ketchup with no added sugar in the ingredients list. You can also choose a brand that lists the sweetener at the end of the ingredients list, which indicates that not much sugar has been added (because the recipe lists the food ingredients from high to low according to their frequency).

This is another spice that can be loaded with added sugar. “One tablespoon of barbecue sauce could provide 1.5 teaspoons of added sugar,” says Ansel. That means half the serving of your barbecue sauce will have sugar.

It is unrealistic to expect to find a barbecue sauce that is free of all sweeteners. Instead, compare the ingredient lists and choose one that has the sweetener as low as possible on the ingredient list.

This is a great example of a seemingly healthy food (and it’s still thanks to those probiotics!) That unexpectedly added sugars can creep in.

While the kombucha making process requires sugar (the yeast feeds on sugar that helps make these gut-healthy probiotics), many brands add way too much. Look for one with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.

Between the cooling area and the aisles of your grocery store, there are so many non-dairy “milk” to choose from. And often they contain some kind of sweetener – even if they are labeled as “original” or “no added sugar”.

If added sugar is a concern, your smartest buy is a plant-based milk labeled “unsweetened”. Or compare the ingredient lists for one with no added sweetener.

Fruit cocktails, canned peaches and even applesauce can be mixed with sugar. With whole, chopped, and diced fruits, it is often in the form of a sugary syrup; Pureed fruits like applesauce can be any kind of added sweetener like cane sugar or fruit juice concentrate.

Look for packaged fruit that says “no added sugar”; however, these are sometimes sweetened with sucralose or other artificial sweeteners, so read the label if you’re trying to avoid these ingredients. Or read the list of ingredients and identify one that only contains fruit with its own juice or water.

The same applies to the dried varieties: With dried cranberries or dried sour cherries you could expect that they contain some sugar – they are sour when raw. But added sugar also lurks in dried fruits such as pineapple, mango and banana.

It is best to read the list of ingredients and, in an ideal world, choose one that has no added sugar.

This was perhaps the most surprising for us! First, you may not find any sweetness in a broth or broth. Second, when you make your own broth at home, you usually don’t add sugar, so this is a very unexpected ingredient.

Also, think of gold bars: many brands of gold bars also contain added sugar.

Soup water is often enriched not only with electrolytes or energy-increasing ingredients, but also with added sugar.

For example, a 20-ounce bottle of Vitaminwater has about 27 grams of added sugar, or nearly 7 teaspoons. If you want more flavor than regular stale water, look for fruit-infused flat or sparkling water like these flavored water brands, or make your own at home by adding citrus or a splash of 100% fruit juice.

In foods rich in sodium – such as bacon – adding sugar increases the taste. As a result, most of the bacon you see in grocery store refrigerators has sweeteners added to it. Nowadays, however, some brands offer bacon with no added sweeteners.

But just because it’s not labeled with no added sugar doesn’t mean it hasn’t been left out: scan the ingredients list to see if this breakfast meat contains sugar.

It sounds like a healthy food, but granola is almost always sweetened with added sugars like corn syrup, honey, or brown sugar. Also, some muesli comes with chocolate or sweetened dried fruit that add even more hidden sugar.

Compare brands and flavors within brands and choose a cereal with the least added sugar. Or you can get the same crispy goodness by crumbling plain whole grain cereal and mixing it with some chopped nuts, Ansel suggests.

Eating peanuts is linked to longer life, according to a May 2015 study in JAMA Internal Medicine. But unfortunately, some peanut butters – even those touted as “all natural” and especially those labeled “reduced fat” – are sneaky sources of added sugar.

To maximize the health and nutritional offerings of peanut butter, it should contain one ingredient: peanuts. And maybe a little salt. That’s it.

While you may know that jam on your toast has sugar in it, you may not realize that the toast itself is a culprit. Yes, some sugar is naturally formed when baking bread, but it is often added too.

“Choose a bread with 1 gram of sugar or less per slice,” says nutritionist Misti Gueron, RDN. “I recommend whole grain breads without honey or other sugars, such as Ezekiel bread.”

Oatmeal is a heart-healthy and high-fiber start to the day and the first choice for a power breakfast. And while you can control how much honey or syrup you drizzle at home, many flavored packaged varieties have far more added sugar than you think.

For example, a pack of Quaker Instant Oatmeal in Apples and Cinnamon contains 8 grams of added sugar (for a total of 11 grams), which equates to a full two teaspoons of sugar.

Similar to yogurt, compare brands and flavors and buy a variety with the lowest added sugar. Or, even better, choose simple oatmeal packets and garnish with fruits like berries, sliced ​​peaches, or diced apples and cinnamon.

Almost 68 percent of coffee drinkers drink their java with some type of additive, such as sugar or other sweeteners, according to a May 2017 report in Public Health. And over 60 percent of the calories in participants’ beverages came from added sugar.

So the chances are good that you will start increasing your daily sugar levels starting with your morning coffee – unless you drink it black, of course. However, if drinking black coffee sounds intolerable, try a splash of whole milk, cream, or your favorite plant-based alternative to give your coffee a more decadent feel without as much sugar.

Pin with sneaky sources of added sugar

Credit: creative

Whole Grain Benefits

For the 55-and-over crowd, March 27-April 3, 2022 | Local News



For information about services available to older adults, contact Pam Jacobsen, director of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and Helen Mary Stevick Senior Citizens Center, 2102 Windsor Place, C, at 217-359-6500.

RSVP and the Stevick Center are administered by Family Service of Champaign County.


  • Active Senior Republicans in Champaign County’s monthly meeting will be held at 9:30 am on April 4 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library. This month’s speakers will be Jesse Reising, Regan Deering and Matt Hausman, Republican primary candidates for the newly redrawn 13th Congressional District.
  • Parkland Theater House needs four ushers each night for “The SpongeBob Musical,” opening April 14. There will be nine shows in total — April 14-16, April 22-24 and April 29-May 1. For details, call or email Michael Atherton, Parkland Theater House Manager, or 217-373-3874.
  • Parkland College also needs four volunteers for commencement. The commencement ceremony will be in person at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at 8 pm May 12. Volunteers needed from 6:30 to 8 pm For details, contact Tracy Kleparski, Director of Student Life, at or 217- 351-2206.
  • The Milford High School National Honor Society and Student Council is hosting a Senior Citizens Banquet at 6 pm April 22. The event will be held in the MAPS #124 Gymnasium (park at south doors at Milford High School. To RSVP, call Sandy Potter at 815-471-4213.


Knit or crochet for those in need:

Meditative Movement with Yoga:

  • 9 to 10:15 am Tuesdays and Thursdays.


  • 11 am to noon, second and fourth Tuesdays. Call 217-359-6500.


  • Noon to 3 pm Thursdays.


Card game 13:

  • To sign up to play, call 217-359-6500 and ask for Debbie.

Men’s group:

  • 9 am Monday-Friday. Join us for a cup of coffee and great conversation.


The Peace Meal Nutrition Program provides daily hot lunches at 11:30 am for a small donation and a one-day advance reservation at sites in Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul, Sidney (home delivery only), Mahomet (home delivery only) and Homer.

For reservations, call 800-543-1770. Reservations for Monday need to be made by noon Friday.

NOTE: There is no change for home deliveries, but at congregate sites, you can get a carry-out meal.


  • BBQ pork sandwich, mini potato bakers, corn, creamy cole slaw, bun.


  • Turkey pot roast with carrots and celery, Italian green beans, pineapple, whole grain roll.


  • Savory sausage stew, broccoli, chunky apple sauce, biscuit, surprise dessert.


  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and brown gravy, tomatoes and zucchini, apricots, whole-grain roll.


  • Chef’s choice — regional favorites will be served.


If you are 55 and older and want to volunteer in your community, RSVP (funded by AmeriCorps Seniors and the Illinois Department on Aging) provides a unique link to local nonprofits needing help. We offer support, benefits and a safe connection to partner sites.

Contact Pam Jacobsen at or 217-359-6500.


Senior Volunteers.

  • RSVP of Champaign, Douglas and Piatt counties/AmeriCorps Senior Volunteers is your link to over 100 nonprofit organizations. Please contact Pam Jacobsen at or call 217-359-6500 for volunteer information.

Food for seniors. Handlers needed to unload boxes of food for repackaging at 7 am on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. We are looking for backup delivery drivers to deliver food to seniors. Contact Robbie Edwards at 217-359-6500 for info.

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Whole Grain Benefits

The future of nutrition advice



By Lisa Drayer, CNN

(CNN) — Most of us know we should eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

So why would the National Institutes of Health spend $150 million to answer questions such as “What and when should we eat?” and “How can we improve the use of food as medicine?”

The answer may be precision nutrition, which aims to understand the health effects of the complex interplay among genetics, our microbiome (the bacteria living in our gut), our diet and level of physical activity, and other social and behavioral characteristics.

That means that everyone could have their own unique set of nutritional requirements.

How is that possible? I asked three experts who conduct precision nutrition research: Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and Martha Field and Angela Poole, both assistant professors in the division of nutritional sciences at Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.

Below is an edited version of our conversation.

CNN: How is precision nutrition different from current nutrition advice?

dr Frank Hu: The idea of ​​precision nutrition is to have the right food, at the right amount, for the right person. Instead of providing general dietary recommendations for everyone, this precision approach tailors nutrition recommendations to individual characteristics, including one’s genetic background, microbiome, social and environmental factors, and more. This can help achieve better health outcomes.

CNN: Why is there no one-size-fits-all prescription when it comes to what we should be eating?

Huh: Not everyone responds to the same diet in the same way. For example, given the same weight-loss diet, some people can lose a lot of weight; other people may gain weight. A recent study in JAMA randomized a few hundred overweight individuals to a healthy low-carb or low-fat diet. After a year, there was almost an identical amount of weight loss for the two groups, but there was a huge variation between individuals within each group — some lost 20 pounds. Others gained 10 pounds.

Martha Field: Individuals have unique responses to diet, and the “fine adjust” of precision nutrition is understanding those responses. This means understanding interactions among genetics, individual differences in metabolism, and responses to exercise.

CNN: How do we eat based on precision nutrition principles now?

Huh: There are some examples of personalized diets for disease management, like a gluten-free diet for the management of celiac disease, or a lactose-free diet if you are lactose intolerant. For individuals with a condition known as PKU (phenylketonuria), they should consume (a) phenylalanine-free diet. It’s a rare condition but a classic example of how your genes can influence what type of diets you should consume.

Angela Poole: If I had a family history of high cholesterol, diabetes or colon cancer, I would increase my dietary fiber intake, eating a lot of different sources, including a variety of vegetables.

fields: If you have high blood pressure, you should be more conscious of sodium intake. Anyone with a malabsorption issue might have a need for higher levels of micronutrients such as B vitamins and some minerals.

CNN: There is research showing that people metabolize coffee differently. What are the implications here?

Huh: Some people carry fast caffeine-metabolizing genes; others carry slow genes. If you carry fast (metabolizing) genotypes, you can drink a lot of caffeinated coffee because caffeine is broken down quickly. If you are a slow metabolizer, you get jittery and may not be able to sleep if you drink coffee in the afternoon. If that’s the case, you can drink decaf coffee and still get the benefits of coffee’s polyphenols, which are associated with decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes without the effects of caffeine.

CNN: How much of a role do our individual genes play in our risk of disease? And can our behavior mitigate our disease risk?

Huh: Our health is affected by both genes and diets, which constantly interact with each other because certain dietary factors can turn on or off some disease-related genes. We published research showing that reducing consumption of sugary beverages can offset the negative effects of obesity genes. That’s really good news. Our genes are not our destiny.

Another area of ​​precision nutrition is to measure blood or urine metabolites, small molecules produced during the breakdown and ingestion of food. For example, having a higher concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) strongly predicts one’s future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The blood levels of BCAAs depend on individuals’ diet, genes and gut microbiome. We found that eating a healthy (Mediterranean-style) diet can mitigate harmful effects of BCAAs on cardiovascular disease. So measuring BCAAs in your blood may help to evaluate your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease and encourage dietary changes that can lower the risk of chronic diseases down the road.

fields: The environmental effects can sometimes be on the same magnitude as the genetic effects with respect to risk for disease.

CNN: Our individual microbiomes may be able to dictate what type of diet we should be consuming. Can you tell us about this emerging research? And what do you think of microbiome tests?

Poole: Research has shown that in some people, their blood sugar will spike higher from eating bananas than from eating cookies, and this has been associated with microbiome composition. Scientists have used microbiome data to build algorithms that can predict an individual’s glucose response, and this is a major advance. But that’s not an excuse for me to shovel down cookies instead of bananas. Likewise, if the algorithm suggests eating white bread instead of whole-wheat bread due to blood glucose responses, I wouldn’t just eat white bread all the time.

At the moment, I’m not ready to spend a lot of money to see what’s in my gut microbiome… and the microbiome changes over time.

Huh: Microbiome tests are not cheap, and the promise that this test can help develop a personalized meal plan that can improve blood sugar and blood cholesterol … at this point, the data are not conclusive.

CNN: How will nutrition advice be different 10 years from now?

Poole: I think you will receive a custom-tailored grocery list on an app — foods that you want to buy and foods that you want to avoid, based on your blood sugar responses to foods, your level of physical activity and more.

Huh: We will have more and better biomarkers and more affordable and accurate nutrigenomics and microbiome tests as well as better computer algorithms that predict your response to food intakes.

But these technologies cannot substitute general nutrition principles such as limiting sodium and added sugar and eating more healthy plant foods. In a few years, you may be able to get a more useful response from Alexa if you ask her what you should eat — but like other answers from Alexa, you’ll have to take it with a grain of salt.

The CNN Wire
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

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Whole Grain Benefits

Are Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches Healthy?



In order to assess its nutritional value, first we must discuss the breakdown of this sandwich.

Typically, there are three main ingredients — bread, peanut butter, and jelly — each with different nutritional values.

Nutritional value of bread

Bread can be a part of a balanced diet. The nutritional value of bread depends on the type chosen.

For starters, whole-grain bread is the best option because it provides a higher amount of nutrients. Whole grain kernels have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ (1).

Because whole grain bread retains all three parts, it’s higher in protein and fiber compared with other breads. These nutrients slow the absorption of sugar into your blood stream and keep you full longer (2, 3).

Whole grain bread is also richer in key nutrients, like B vitamins, iron, folate, and magnesium. Look for the word “whole” as part of the first ingredient in bread’s nutritional label (2).

Choosing sprouted grain bread, like Ezekiel bread, is also an excellent choice. The sprouting process increases digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Studies show sprouted bread has more fiber, vitamin E, and vitamin C, and beta-glucan (4).

Sourdough bread is fine, too. Although it’s not as high in fiber and protein, it has a lower glycemic index than white bread.

Glycemic index measures how quickly food increases blood sugars. In general, foods with a lower glycemic index better support your overall health.

But keep in mind that glycemic index doesn’t tell the whole story. We must look at the meal as a whole — for example, what we add to the bread. Nutrients, like protein and fats, can help lower the overall glycemic load of a meal, and serving sizes also play a role (5).

As a guideline, look for whole grain breads that offer at least 2 grams of fiber per slice. We also suggest using bread that contains 3 grams of protein or more per slice.

If that’s not available, sourdough bread may be your next best option.


Choose breads that are higher in fiber and protein, like whole grain bread or sprouted grain bread. These varieties help slow absorption of sugars and keep you full longer.

Nutritional value of peanut butter

Many people find peanut butter delicious.

Nutritionally, it also delivers. Peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats, important for all stages of life, especially growing children. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber.

Two tablespoons (32 grams) of smooth peanut butter contain 7 grams of protein, 16 grams of fats, and 2 grams of fiber (6).

Importantly, the majority of fats in peanut butter are unsaturated fats. Research consistently indicates that replacing saturated fats found in animal products with more unsaturated fats (like those in peanut butter) may lower cholesterol and improve heart health (7, 8).

For growing kids, healthy fats are vital for healthy development. Plus, fats help absorb the vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which play a synergistic role in supporting immune and brain health (9, 10).

Contrary to popular belief, conventional peanut butter doesn’t usually have more sugar than 100% natural peanut butter. However, it may have more salt (6).

When shopping, check the nutrition labels to ensure it doesn’t contain additional ingredients other than peanuts.

When enjoying natural peanut butter, the oil will separate from the peanut butter. Not to fret — just give it a good stir! This helps mix the oils with the solids.

Pro tip: You can store peanut butter upside down in the fridge to keep it from separating again!


When available, choose 100% natural peanut butter, as it’s lower in salt. Remember to stir the peanut butter before eating to mix the oils with the solids.

Nutritional value of jelly

The PB&J sandwich isn’t complete without jelly or jam. What’s the difference, anyway?

Well, while jellies and jams have similar nutritional value and taste, there’s a slight difference: Jellies are made with fruit juice, while jam is made with the fruit juice and pulp (7).

Both jellies and jams contain pectin (artificially added to jelly), which has prebiotic effects that may improve gut health (8).

However, both are naturally high in sugar, so enjoy them in moderation. To have more say in the ingredients used, you can try making your jelly at home.

If you’re buying from a store, look for jellies with no added sugar in the ingredients list. Alternative names for added sugars include glucose, sucrose, dextrose, and fructose.


Jellies are high in natural sugars and contain pectins that may have a beneficial effect in promoting good health. Try to choose jellies with no added sugars.

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