Conditions & Wellness

The Sweet Truth

Sugar excess is one of the biggest food problems of our time. It has been linked to heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, and gout. The more you know, the easier it is to make healthy choices and avoid the not-so-sweet pitfalls. Take our quiz to test your sugar smarts.

If a food doesn’t taste sweet, it doesn’t contain sugar.
a) True
b) False

How many grams of sugar are there in 1 teaspoon of sugar?
a) 2
b) 4
c) 6
d) 8

Yogurt doesn’t contain sugar unless fruit or other flavorings are added.
a) True
b) False

The number of calories in sugar and honey is:
a) The same
b) Sugar has more calories
c) Honey has more calories

A 12-ounce can of soda can contain how many teaspoons of sugar?
a) 6
b) 10
c) 11
d) 12

All but one of these is a form of sugar used in processed foods. Which one is not a sugar?
a) Maltodextrin
b) Maltol
c) Malic acid
d) Fructose
e) Maltose
f) Mannose
g) Dextrin
h) Dextrose
i) Barley malt

When a food labels says “no high fructose corn syrup,” the food contains little or no added sugar.
a) True
b) False

1. b) Sugar is added to many packaged and restaurant foods that don’t have a sweet taste, including soups, sauces, and breads. In fact, manufacturers add sugar to 74 percent of packaged foods sold in supermarkets.

2. b) One teaspoon contains 4 grams of sugar.

3. b) Even unflavored yogurt naturally contains lactose, a form of sugar found in milk. But yogurt also contains protein, which slows down the rate at which the sugar is absorbed. So it doesn’t have a detrimental effect on blood sugar. However, fruit, preserves, or other flavorings may make yogurt a less healthy, high-sugar food.

4. c) There are more calories in honey: 22 per teaspoon, compared to 16 per teaspoon of sugar. Some people consider honey to be sweeter and denser than white sugar, and may use less of it to sweeten a food. Plus, honey contains vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and may aid in digestion.

5. c) 11 teaspoons, depending on the brand. Some may contain more, but there are also sodas that contain less added sugar or are sweetened with stevia or other natural, sugar-free sweeteners.

6. c) Malic acid is found in vegetables and fruits and is not a sugar. It has a tart taste, like a green apple, and stimulates saliva production. The human body makes malic acid when producing energy, and dietary supplements of malic acid can help improve energy. Malic acid is also used as a flavoring ingredient in food, candy, and gum, as well as in lozenges and dental products.

7. b) Since high fructose corn syrup has gained a reputation as being unhealthy, any food that doesn’t contain it may seem like a healthy option-but that isn’t necessarily the case. High fructose corn syrup is only one form of sugar, and many processed foods simply contain other forms of the sweet stuff. Check the Nutrition Facts panel and the ingredient list to be sure.