grandkids love to help me hand out treats to young neighbors
who drop by on the eve of October 31.
do you say?" five-year old Frances announces in her very
grown-up voice. She waits until she hears "Trick or
treat" to carefully drop a piece of candy into each
sugar treats can be tricky. Naturally derived from sugar cane
or sugar beets, sucrose (what we call table sugar) is a simple
carbohydrate used for fuel by every cell in the body. In itís
very simplest form, sugar breaks down to even smaller sugar
molecules, glucose and fructose.
born with a taste for sweets, perhaps as a way to guide us to
nourishment, say those who study such things. Breast milk for
example, is high in lactose ó the natural sugar found in
milk. Fruit is another natural source of sugar, primarily in
the form of fructose.
world of food preparation, sugar has useful qualities. Cooks
use it to grow yeasts for bread and to produce tender and
moist baked goods. Sugar stabilizes whipped egg and cream
products. And it protects jams and jellies from spoiling.
to have tipped the scales on sugar consumption in our modern
world, however. Besides contributing to our epidemic of
growing waistlines, excess sugar intake is now being examined
for its role in diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
considered excessive? Experts who examined the research for
our latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans say anything more
than 10 percent of our daily calories from added sugars (the
stuff we add to everything from cookie dough to tomato sauce)
is unhealthfully excessive.
say a person weíll call Bob purchased a bag of Halloween
treats Ö or letís say maybe 2 or 3 bags of Halloween
treats. And letís say Bob in good conscience bought his
favorite treats in the "fun" size. And letís
assume Bobís calorie-tracker says he eats about 1800
calories a day. That means that no more than 180 calories in
his day (10 percent) should come from added sugars.
gram of added sugar Bob eats contributes 4 calories to his
daily intake. A fun-sized Snickers bar, for instance, contains
8.5 grams or 34 calories of added sugar. A mini bag of
Skittles contains 12 grams or 48 calories of added sugar.
understanding of this holiday is that every ring of the
doorbell is a signal to pop another fun-sized treat into his
mouth. At this rate, he might easily reach the
excessive-intake-of-added-sugars category by the time his
doorbell rings four times.
weíll do pretzels this year.