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How Much Sugar Is in That? 7 Foods with Added Sugar

The Gilmer Free Press

Health officials say people should eat less sugar. But that’s easier said than done.

Anyone who has tried cutting down on sugar knows to avoid cookies, sodas and candy. But sugar can be hidden in lots of other common packaged foods.

The World Health Organization finalized guidelines Wednesday saying people should keep intake of added sugars to just 5 to 10% of overall calories, which translates to about 25 to 50 grams of sugar a day for most people. The guidelines don’t apply to naturally occurring sugars in fruits, vegetables and milk, since they come with essential nutrients.

In the U.S., adults get about 11 to 15% of their calories from sugar; the figure for children tops that at about 16%. By comparison, sugar intakes ranges in Europe from about 7% in Hungary to nearly 25% in Portugal.

But many people aren’t aware of how much sugar they’re eating every day. In fact, that’s one reason the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing the first overhaul of nutrition labels in two decades. In addition to highlighting the number of calories per serving in a bigger, bolder font, the new proposed labels would also for the first time list sugars that are added by manufacturers.

In the meantime, though, companies don’t currently disclose how much of the sugar listed in the nutrition panels of their products are from added sugars rather than naturally occurring ones.

Here are seven examples of foods that might have added sugar or another sweetener like high-fructose corn syrup as an ingredient:

SALAD DRESSING: Picking a salad over a ham sandwich seems like a virtuous choice. But the amount of sugar it comes with can vary depending on the dressing you put on top of it. Wish-Bone’s Deluxe French salad dressing, for instance, lists 4 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of sugar per serving (2 tablespoons).

SOUP: A cup of soup of soup is comforting thought, but even savory varieties can have sugar. A can of Progresso’s Rich & Hearty Beef Pot Roast has 4 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of sugar per serving, with a can containing two servings.

YOGURT: Another seemingly healthful choice that can come with lots of sugar. Some of the sugar is naturally occurring from the dairy, but companies add sweeteners too. A container of Chobani’s 0% fat Greek yogurt in black cherry flavor lists 17 grams (about 4 teaspoons) of sugar.

BREAD: That toast you’re about to smother with jam might’ve already been a little sweetened. A store brand of enriched white bread at the convenience store chain Duane Reade listed 2 grams (about half a teaspoon) of sugar for per serving (2 slices)

PEANUT BUTTER: It depends on the variety you pick, but peanut butter can come with added sugar too. Skippy’s Super Chunk variety lists 7 grams (almost 2 teaspoons) of sugar per serving (2 tablespoons).

CEREAL: Most people know that cereal has sugar, especially the varieties for kids. In some cases, you might be surprised that there isn’t much difference between options. Special K with Red Berries, for instance, has 9 grams (more than 2 teaspoons) per serving (1 cup), while Frosted Flakes has 10 grams (more than 2 teaspoons) of sugar per serving (3/4 cup).

FROZEN MEALS: In case it wasn’t clear by now, just because it’s not dessert doesn’t mean it doesn’t have added sugar. California Kitchen’s BBQ Chicken microwavable pizza has 7 grams (almost 2 teaspoons) of sugar in a single-serving pie.

Study: Thyroid Hormone Level May Affect Fetal Brain Development

The Gilmer Free Press

A new study finds that not only low but also high maternal thyroid hormone levels during early pregnancy may significantly lower the infant’s IQ later in childhood.

The study results suggest that the common practice of treating pregnant women who have mild thyroid hormone deficiency may pose unexpected risks to the developing baby’s brain, Medical Xpress said.

Doctors already know that low thyroid hormone levels in pregnant women are linked to lower child IQ scores as well as other risks to the fetus. In this mild form of thyroid disease, there is an increased amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), the substance that spurs production of and maintains adequate amounts of the thyroid hormones, T3 and T4, which control how the body uses energy.

“There is consensus to treat subclinical hypothyroidism because it is generally believed that the potential benefits of treatment outweigh the potential risks of overtreatment,“ said Tim Korevaar, MD, the study’s lead investigator and a PhD student at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. “There was virtually no evidence in humans until now that mildly elevated levels of thyroid hormone could also be harmful.“

Korevaar and colleagues evaluated data from 3,839 mother-child pairs who participated in the Dutch Generation R Study, an ongoing study from fetal life until young adulthood. Between pregnancy weeks 9 and 18, mothers underwent bloodwork to measure their TSH and free T4, the active form of T4. The children to whom the women gave birth received an IQ test on nonverbal performance tasks between the age of 5 and 8 years.

The researchers found that the average nonverbal IQ of the children significantly decreased 2.1 to 3.8 points below the average of the reference group (those with free T4 levels in the middle of the range) when the mothers’ free T4 level was at or above the 89th percentile. This percentile is considered well into the normal range, according to Korevaar. The average child IQ decreased by a similar number of points when maternal free T4 levels were at or below the eighth percentile, indicating low-normal values.

Bon Appétit: Braised Chicken with Artichokes and Fava Beans

The Gilmer Free Press

Ingredients:

Servings: 4

  1 cup fresh fava beans (from about 1 lb. pods) or frozen fava beans, thawed
  Kosher salt
  2 lemons, halved
  3 pounds baby artichokes (about 16)
  4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  Freshly ground black pepper
  1 3½–4-lb. chicken, cut into 10 pieces
  8 shallots, peeled, halved
  1 cup dry white wine
  3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  Flaky sea salt


Directions:

If using fresh fava beans, cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander set in a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain, remove skins, and place beans in a small bowl. Do not cook frozen beans.

Squeeze juice from lemons into a large bowl of cold water. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, remove tough dark outer leaves. Using a serrated knife, cut off 1” from top, then trim stem, leaving at least ½” intact. Using a paring knife or vegetable peeler, remove dark outer layer from stem. Cut artichoke in half lengthwise, scoop out choke with a spoon, and discard. Transfer artichoke to lemon water to prevent it from turning brown.

Preheat oven to 425°. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Drain artichokes and pat dry. Add to pan; season with kosher salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, until brown and crisp in places, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Wipe out pot.

Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with kosher salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until brown and crisp, 6–8 minutes (do not turn). Transfer to baking sheet with artichokes.

Reduce heat to medium, add shallots to pot, and cook, stirring often, until golden brown and beginning to soften, 8–10 minutes. Add wine and vinegar and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pot; cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Mix in broth, then add artichokes and chicken, skin side up. Transfer to oven and cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Mix in fava beans.

Serve chicken and vegetables topped with chives and parsley and seasoned with sea salt and pepper.

Study: Adults Get Flu Once Every Five Years

The Gilmer Free Press


Adults catch flu once every five years, scientists calculate, based on a field study in China.

Although many of us will feel ill more often than this, other flu-like infections are to usually blame, the international team says.

The scientists tested blood samples from 151 volunteers aged between seven and 81, to gauge how often flu infections strike, BBC reported.

A similar study in the UK will test if the findings apply to British people.

Gathering this sort of lifespan data, which the researchers say has not really been done before, should help experts better understand who is at risk of infection, and how often, as well as how far the disease spreads through communities.

The study, in the journal PLoS Biology, looked at nine main strains of flu known to have been circulating around the globe between 1968 and 2009.

These were all types of influenza A (H3N2) virus.

The researchers, from Imperial College London and institutes in the US and China, checked the volunteers’ blood for the presence of antibodies to reveal whether they had ever been infected with the viruses, and how often.

They found that while the children got flu on average every other year, flu infections became less frequent with age.

From the age of 30 onwards, flu infections tended to occur at a steady rate of about two per decade in the people that they studied.

The researchers point out that their findings may not apply to other populations but conceivably could.

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