Did You Know?! - Mukilteo,WA

Updated on February 21, 2012
L.U. asks from Kirkland, WA
19 answers

Yesterday my kids and I went to our Children's museum. Great fun. While we were there we saw that they had a room dedicated to dentistry. Cool! So, we go in and are greeted by tooth fairies and 4 real dentists and one orthodontist. It was cool that the kids got to sit on the chair and have a dentist "look" at their teeth and tell them the importance of brushing and flossing. Not so cool, the orthodontist that told me my eldest needs braces. sigh.
BUT...what I didn't know and was floored about was how much SUGAR is in some of the normal things that we eat. So, did you know that there is 3 tsp of sugar in most fruit snacks (those LITTLE bags!!), or how about that there is 2 tsp of sugar in EVERY oreo?? argh! There were two that kind of blew me away. Mountain Dew (the bottle)? ELEVEN (11) tsp a BOTTLE!!! OMG! Thank goodness I never drink those! But, the one that I felt the worst about? Yoplait yogurt. I give those to my kids as snacks all the time (the pink one, lowfat!) ...it has 7 tps of sugar..per serving!! WHAT!??!! SO, here I am thinking I am giving my kids a lowfat snack, only 130 calories, and I am loading them up on sugar!!!
Question....Have you ever read or seen something like this where you are stunned that what you thought was healthy is really not?

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So What Happened?

That is why I am careful about what my kids eat and was floored. I think so many parents believe that *fruit* snacks are healthy or that just one soda a day is nothing and it's not!! The one I was sad about was the yogurt, because I do feed that one to my kids. A couple of years ago I really changed up how my family was eating and got back to basics. I shop the perimeter of the store and added TONS of fresh veggies and fruits. That's not to say there's no snacks or treats! Just means that my eyes were opened a bit yesterday.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Not in years. When I first discovered eating low-carb, I had a lot of revelations about what is in food. I am still dismayed at how many parents think that "fruit snacks" are some sort of healthy item. They are AWFUL, and probably worse than raisins (which dentists will tell you not to give as snacks bc of how badly it sticks to the little ones' teeth and keeps them coated in sugars).

If it has carbs, it has sugars.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

Every brand will do their best to sell you on their product. Most people are not willing to go the extra "mile" to read the labels or even change brands out of convenience. The package looks good, it says something is healthy on it or eludes to it. People in the store (esp. with their kids) go quickly and just grab.

Another kicker about those fruit snacks? They have a ton of acid in them that eats teeth. The kids eat them, they get stuck on their teeth, and then the snacks eat away at their teeth because of the acid and sugar.

My daughter's preschool has them on the list of suggested snacks. Blech!

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answers from Seattle on

I like my sugar with coffee and cream :)

Food Trick: 4 grams of sugar per teaspoon. So a normal apple, with apx 23 grams of sugar in it = almost 6 teaspoons of sugar.

Apple 23g of sugar = almost 6 teaspoons
Banana 51g of sugar = almost 13 teaspoons
8oz of milk 13g of sugar = 3 teaspoons
16oz of milk 26g of sugar = 6 teaspoons

It's not JUST about the sugar. It's also about what ELSE is in the foods that we're eating/ drinking. Because if we just look at the "ose" (glucose, galactose, fructose, etc.), aka the sugar, then a banana is worse for you than a Mtn Dew. Bananas are LOADED in potassium (k+) and other vitamins and minerals. Milk is LOADED w/ calcium and protein... along with other vitamins, minerals, lips... and yep... galactose and lactose.

Yogurt (esp FULL fat yogurt*) is a very healthy thing to eat, with all the benefits of milk, along with enzymes and beneficial bacteria.

<grin> Don't just quit eating something because of the sugar!!!

Actually... it's super dangerous to eliminate all sugars from your diet. Well, all of them = death... our brains run off of sugar. The rest of our body goes into ketosis when our sugar content is too low (seizures, organ damage, death... Atkins had ERs all over the country HOPPING because of people screwing with their sugar balance and going into ketosis). We NEED sugars in our diet. Brush them off your teeth. No biggie. If teeth are rotting AFTER brushing twice a day... it's genetics. Not the sugar in the diet.

* Full Fat v Lowfat/Nonfat

Kid Trick: Kids need high fat foods for their brains. High/Normal fat foods are creamy because of the fats. Low fat foods are creamy because they add starches. Starch is just another word for sugar. So low fat for the adults (unless your diabetic... then avoid lowered fat foods like the plague, those starches will wreak havoc), and high fat for the kids keeps their sugar intake down.

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answers from Boston on

Just a tip from a low-carb eater. Be very suspicious when you read low-fat on anything. It seems they often add more sweetener to make up for the fat. Check out salad dressings or ice creams. Amazing.

Then we always have to be careful of the fake sugar foods that have been researched to make us fatter, because they do something to the brain which encourages most eaters to eat something else bad.

I was so disappointed with the major brand of orange juice that cut the sugar in half, but added an artificial sweetener.

Great question!

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answers from Philadelphia on

Check out this website... It shows how many sugar cubes are in various popular foods. http://sugarstacks.com/

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answers from San Francisco on

Yes I'm well aware of this and have been for a long time :(
The yogurts are the worst, some of them have more sugar than two or three bowls of frosted flakes! And the "fruit" snacks are basically candy.
I guess a lot of people only look at the front of the package, where they use words like "calcium" and "low fat" and "vitamin C" but you should ALWAYS look at the nutritional information, which is sometimes smaller print, and usually on the back or bottom of the package.

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answers from Washington DC on

yeah, i'm really pissed off at the commercials everywhere now touting high fructose corn syrup 'your body can't tell the difference! sugar is sugar!'
naturally occurring sugars work in synch with the other food components to nourish and revitalize our bodies. added sugars poison and overload our systems and cause all sorts of health problems. and the sugars in the foods you're referring to are almost all made from genetically modified highly pesticide-laden corns that will certainly have terrible long-lasting deleterious effects on the human system that we will be uncovering for decades to come.
i've become very very conscious in recent years about buying (or growing) food in its most natural state and adding what i choose to it. i don't trust most companies to do that for me.

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answers from Fargo on

Hi L.! Your children's museum sound amazing! What a great experience!

I am painfully aware of how much sugar is in EVERYTHING, lol! My kids have Type 1 Diabetes and I have to count every carbohydrate they put in their mouthes. Anything low fat will have more sugar to compensate for taste, isn't that a KICKER???? Ticks me off, lol!

The item that suprised me with sugar content was a vitamin brand that had 9 grams of sugar per serving of 4 gummies. I wasn't pleased that I had to dose my kids with insulin for their daily vitamin!

ps. I wanted to share the name of my favorite yogurt with all of you. It's called Cascade Fresh and it's sweetened with fruit juice (still sugar, I know, but much less of it!) and tastes amazing. We like the orange cream (tastes like a creamsicle) and strawberry. YUM!

Edit* I loved what Riley said about low fat vs. full fat. We go full fat as much as possible, as long as it's good fat. And Gamma is right on too, fake sugars are poison! Awesome answers!

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answers from Hartford on

I'm a major label reader and ingredient reader because I have a special needs child, and I follow a modified version of the Feingold diet for her. As such, the rest of the family also follows a similar diet which I'm now going to make sure we follow more strictly because my eldest daughter was just officially diagnosed as ADHD (finally).

With thanks to this diet, we've greatly reduced sugar in our diet and also reduced the worst culprit in sugar and calories: HFCS aka High Fructose Corn Syrup. At the risk of sounding like a nutjob conspiracy theorist, HFCS is one of the worst additives/sweeteners/fillers ever created and put into our foods and food-like items. They're tied with artificial food dyes. In minimal amounts it might not be an epidemic, but these artificial chemicals are added to our foods in poisonous amounts affecting our children's moods, emotions, and behavior.

That's my long way of saying that while I'm not at all stunned at the information you only just discovered, because I've known all of this since I was a teenager and my mother followed a mostly-natural diet, I AM sort of stunned that so many people don't really educate themselves on the foods and food-like items they feed themselves and their families... and are then shocked when someone tells them.

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answers from Salinas on

The sugar isn't the only scary thing in the foods you listed. There are chemical preservatives, dyes, and flavorings in all of them that many believe are dangerous to the human body if eaten regularly.
It's not our parents grocery store anymore! Alomost all process foods are filled with a lot of very scary stuff.
It is easy to just not eat them. Just go back to basics. Instead of flavored chips get plain tortilla chips, instead of fruit snacks buy organic raisons or other dried fruit w/o added sugar and preservatives. How about organic, unsweetened applesauce in place of the yogurt?
The food in most markets is the result of corporations trying to make the largest possible profit selling food with the cheapest possible ingredients and a long shelf life. They need to add the suger (or in most cases the cheaper, high fructose corn syrup) as an effort to make something of such low quality taste good.
Real food is so much more delicious!

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answers from Phoenix on

I just knew that the tea in McDonalds must have lots of sugar, it is very sweet. I never drink the tea, it just happen because I was so thirsty thus I asked my son's and it is too too sweet! I also like to give yoplait to my son. Seems that now we must go back to traditional way. I used to make my own yoghurt and mix it with palm sugar. It still has sugar but not so much like the products we buy. I became lazy after a year though, and buy packed yoghurt. I will make my own tea, and bring it to McD just in case my son wants to drink tea.Thankfully, he HATES soda :)

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answers from Washington DC on

In college I did a research paper on the amounts of additives in our foods.
I am not surprised. So many of the foods we eat have preservatives, sugars, colorings.
I have to look at every label as I have one daughter with allergies.
It doesn't mean I don't buy the junk. My oldest eats Ritz Bits in her lunch. BLECH!!! Sugar, sodium, fake cheese.

My sister in law gives her kids Dora yogurts, they won't even eat regular Dannon or Yoplait. My 3 yo nephew just had his first root canal, and three cavities filled. That's right, a ROOT CANAL. He will have another next week and more cavities filled. All her kids eat are yogurt (Dora or Trix), donuts, candy, sometimes a chicken nugget. My husband gets so mad at his sister. He wants to keep her kids for a summer to teach them, in his words, how to be human.

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answers from Houston on

Yep, I keep track of sugar and all of those other yucky contents.. it's insane.

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answers from Albuquerque on

Yeah, I hear ya. I've been reading labels for high fructose corn syrup and wonder which is worse, sugar or corn syrup and I figure corn syrup. You'd be surprised at all the foods with that stuff! I try to avoid packaged stuff for this reason but sometimes you just cant. Oh, and the only yogurt my daughters will eat is the yoplait (orange cream or key lime pie), or the danino (sp?).

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Buy the plain (unflavored) yogurt and add fresh fruit. The issue is not the naturally occurring milk sugars (read the label on milk), it is the added sugars. Also plain yogurt does not generally have artificial sweeteners added, the flavored low sugar ones do. Yes, I have always read labels. Fruit snacks are candy. Fruit is food. Soda is processed corn sweetener with added acids to eat your teeth.

Actually all sugar is not equal. We used to believe it was, but it turns out that we handle fructose differently from glucose, in metabolically very significant ways. As a rule of thumb - naturally occurring fruit sugars are fine, added sugars (generally dextrose or HFCS) are a problem. So bananas and apples are fine. Mountain Dew really isn't.

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answers from Chicago on

You can get plain yogurt and you can control the sugar more by adding the fruit yourself - I like the fruit a bit mushy and syrupy (like in the yoplait) I find that a bowl of cut up berries (2cups) a tbsp honey or agave nectar and 1tbsp of REAL sugar (organic free trade) and 2tbsp of splenda or truvia mixed up - covered and refridgerated creates a simmilar effect and is better than the processed fruits in the "stir in" yogurts.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Have you ever seen the documentary about Appalachia and the Mountain Dew dental crisis in that area? Seriously. It's way cheaper than milk and the kids teeth just literally rot out of their heads.

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answers from Portland on

Yep, & I still have to be careful when I go to Trader Joes & Whole Foods even they carry some bad stuff I don't approve of.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Sugar is in everything and sugar free stuff is poison. So just cut back on the sugar stuff but still let them have foods they like. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate is burns off within minutes of being eaten. It's not a horrible thing like salt or other additives. I hate to think of how much salt is is sugar free stuff, they add tons of it to make the foods taste more palatable. It is so bad all together though.

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