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Decoding Added Sugar on Food Labels

From eNewsletter 7/20/2020

DID YOU KNOW that strains of a common subtype of influenza virus, H3N2, have almost universally acquired a mutation that effectively blocks antibodies from binding to a key viral protein, according to a study in PLOS Pathogens? The new mutation evidently is so good at boosting flu's ability to spread that it is now present in virtually all circulating H3N2 strains. Recent flu seasons, in which H3N2 strains have featured prominently, have been severe compared to historical averages. The finding highlights the potential for flu viruses to evade therapies such as seasonal vaccines. STAYING SAFE AMIDST A PANDEMIC

Continue with extra immune support until summer of 2021. We don't know how virulent SARS-CoV-2 will be this summer or if there will be a second COVID wave during fall and winter. Besides, SARS-CoV-2 is not the only virus we fight. There is influenza (flu), norovirus (stomach flu), adenovirus (common cold), and four other coronaviruses (common cold), among others. Prevent and Fight Coronavirus 2.0 is our must-read protocol.


ADDED SUGAR LABELING

Steve and Bonnie: The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting calories from sugars to less than 10% of total calories per day (or 50 grams total; the next set of guidelines due later this year will lower it to 30 grams). The American Heart Association now recommends less than 25 grams of refined sugars for women and less than 30 grams for men daily. Until recently, labeling did not identify the safe naturally occurring sugars versus added refined (harmful) sugars. Finally, the FDA has mandated that manufacturers must list both Total Sugars and "Includes ___ Added Sugars" to all food product labels unless the package is a single ingredient sugar (honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, etc.). Even though the sugar mandate by the FDA was made last year, food companies have been very slow to make the labeling changes on their products. Lately, however, compliance has improved. For adults, the easiest way to determine a label's amount of refined sugar intake is to ignore the total sugar number, and look instead only at the added sugar number. For example, if a product contains a total of 12 grams of sugar and 10 grams of added sugar, only the added 10 grams needs to be counted as part of your total sugar for the day. Please see the sample label above for clarification. Follow the American Heart Association's recommendation of less than 25 grams of added sugar for women and more than 30 grams for men. For children and teens, many factors (growth rate, height, weight, amount of physical activity, and health issues) need to be taken into consideration before we can make an accurate sugar recommendation.


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