Health Watch - Halloween: Scary Sweets

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’ve been talking about enjoying Halloween safely and without letting the treats affect your health. Previously, we talked about setting limits on your candy intake so you don’t overload on sugar, but how much sugar is too much?

The American Heart Association recently recommended that women get no more than 25 grams of added sugar a day, and men no more than 37.5 grams a day. That’s less than you’ll get from one can of soda. But avoiding excess sugar takes more than limiting the amount of candy you eat, and there may be more sugar than you expect even in seemingly nutritious foods.

Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the key is reading labels. If sugar is listed among the top three ingredients, most of the sugar is probably added during processing. Also look for terms such as corn syrup, corn sweetener, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose. Those are all ways of saying that sugar has been added.

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October 2010


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