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Quinn on Nutrition: Readers questions and comments

June 12, 2017

A reader in Carmel Valley writes: "I have a question regarding the Nutrition Facts label on Minute Maid Light Lemonade. I consume this drink on a regular basis and several friends do as well.

"The label touts the fact that one serving is only 15 calories, 100 percent Daily Value Vitamin C and only 2 grams of sugar. All sounds pretty good to me. I have noticed that the label also discloses High Fructose Corn Syrup, which I have read is to be generally avoided. Would the 2 grams of sugar content on the label include the corn syrup or would it be 2 grams plus the corn syrup? I hope the former, because this is good stuff in my opinion!"

Dear Rich,

Yes, the 2 grams of sugar listed on the label for one serving of this product includes high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sweetener made from corn. (Two grams, by the way, is less than a half teaspoon.)

Unlike usual corn syrup which is mostly glucose, the HFCS used in this beverage is about half glucose and half fructose, according to the company website. Regular table sugar or sucrose, is also half glucose and half fructose; therefore, both types of sugars are digested similarly.

Concerns about HFCS arose when studies found that large amounts of fructose (in the absence of glucose) interfered with the bodyís ability to metabolize fats. This doesnít usually happen outside of the laboratory, however. And remember that fructose is the main sugar in fruit, honey, agave syrup and other sweet foods that we adore. What we generally need to avoid, say health experts, are high amounts of any type of added sugar. Your light lemonade is one way to do that.

A reader in Albany, Oregon wrote this after reading my recent column about the value of water: "I wanted to let you know about a free iPhone and Apple Watch app I made that helps people remember to drink water. Itís a little unconventional, but it has lots of happy users. Itís called "Pee & See."

"It may sound like a joke, but itís not. Tap a button every time you go to the bathroom, and then get a notification reminding you to drink water if itís been 3 hours since you peed.

"You can watch a 39 second video of me describing the app at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT4-x17MnPM. And thereís a funny parody about the app at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyerzMSIh20.

Thanks,

John Ganotis

Creator of Pee & See

Dear John, you certainly have the first name to develop this type of app! And I got a chuckle out of your youtube videos. Thanks for passing this onÖ

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