Blowing in the Wind

A spring wind blew a couple pieces of trash my direction this week, wrappers for stuff I don’t normally eat. I was intrigued by the list of ingredients printed on the packaging for these supposedly healthy Imageitems. The fruit snack didn’t have a whole lot of ingredients, but the first two items were sugars and the third was apple puree concentrate. Dietary sugars totaled 13 grams per individual serving (10 in a pack).

The other wrapper was for a yogurt-flavored granola bar. Besides the carbs in the grains, the sugary substances in that snack include: brown sugar (2 uses), high fructose corn syrup (3 uses), honey, glucose syrup, sugar (4 uses), corn syrup (4 uses), sorbitol, Dietary sugars, 11 grams; sugar alcohol, 2 grams (sorbitol).

I was surprised that these items have about the same amount of sugars. However, the fruit snacks come 10 to a pack, so multiply those sugars by 10. Same thing with the calories. The fruit snacks have 80 calories per serving (but I suspect most people eat all 10 pieces) and the granola bar (one serving) adds up to 150 calories.

Even if you eat yogurt in its natural state (without imbedding it in a granola bar), label reading is important. Whether sold in the dairy section or the natural foods section of the grocery store, most brands of yogurt contain added sugars. But non-sugared varieties are available. You just have to look for them.

If you want a healthy snack or would like to add flavor to your yogurt, this is a great time of year to pick up fresh fruit. Eating healthy is possible — and delicious.

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