Category: Helping Readers

Artificial Sweetners

The question we are asked a lot is about artificial sweeteners being unhealthy. Here is the answer.

The FDA has approved 5 sweeteners that are okay as long as they are used correct. They said no more than 23 packs of Splenda, Sweet One, and Newtame, 75 packets of Equal, and 45 packets of Sweet’N Low.

Sounds good, right? Then why do so many people still consider artificial sweeteners dangerous?

Well, it might be due to our suspicion of putting anything chemical or artificially manufactured in our bodies. It’s probably also due to a long history of overly publicized, poorly designed, and badly executed animal studies that the FDA now says falsely linked artificial sweeteners to cancer.

By having new dietary guidelines, it changes many ways foods are produced. if you would like to learn more about this, check out the New Dietary Guidelines post.


New American Diet Rules

“A national embarrassment . . . a betrayal of the diligent work of nutrition scientists, and a willful sacrifice of public health on the altar of profit for well-organized special interests.”

That’s just one of the responses to the 2015-2020 diet rules for Americans. The guidelines are put into five main areas.

  • Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. Eating patterns are the combination of foods and drinks that a person eats over time.
  • Focus on variety, nutrient-dense foods, and amount.
  • Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats, and reduce sodium intake.
  • Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.
  • Support healthy eating patterns for all.

These dietary rules are said to be based on scientific fact, but other food scientists are countering that by saying they are too vague or that they don’t make sense.  The guidelines also state that less than 10% of your daily intake of calories should come from added sugars and 10% should come from saturated fats.

It is said that the average American should consume:

  • A variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and other vegetables.
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits.
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains.
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages.
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), soy products, and nuts and seeds.
  • Oils, including those from plants: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, and sunflower. Oils also are naturally present in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives, and avocados.

That is a basic idea of the new American dietary guidelines. Click here for a link to the guidelines in full.  Comment what you think the new guidelines are: too vague, or just right?



By: Thomas K.

Edited by: Rohan K.


Skittles Vs. M&Ms

skittles vs m&ms

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Starving for some M&Ms? Or do you want some Skittles instead?

What most people don’t know is that they shouldn’t eat either!  They are both very high in sugar. There are 22 grams of sugar in just 1 ounce of Skittles! 2 more grams of sugar, and your done for the entire day.

M&M’s have 18 grams of sugar per ounce. They do have less sugar than Skittles, but still have a lot. Eat both of those together, and you’ve gone 16 sugar grams beyond what you’re supposed to eat in day!


By: Nikolai S.

Edited By: Rohan K.

Dark Chocolate Vs Milk Chocolate

Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate

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There is reason why milk chocolate is so sweeeeeet, while dark chocolate is bitter.

Everyone knows that chocolate bars contain a lot of sugar. But have you figured out which chocolate―dark or milk―is better? Well, one ounce of milk chocolate contains 14.6g of sugar. The size of one ounce is even smaller than a regular milk chocolate bar!

For dark chocolate, one ounce contains 6.8g of sugar.

Still not a small amount, but surely better.


By: Grace K.

Is Brown Sugar better than White Sugar?

white sugar brown sugar

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Have you ever heard that brown sugar is better (or healthier) than white sugar? If so, do you know the truth about brown sugar?

The answer is brown sugar is barely better than white sugar, or simplified as no.

Many people think that brown sugar is “raw” sugar, but actually it isn’t. Both white and brown sugar are from raw sugar, but the only difference is that brown sugar has some molasses, and white sugar does not.

When the companies are making brown sugar out of raw sugar, it is heated and melted into the liquid, and the colors are removed. That becomes the sugar well known as ‘white sugar.’ To make brown sugar, the companies (or manufacturers) add some molasses in and mix it.

That’s what it is made from. Do you still think that the brown sugar is healthier than the white sugar?


By: Grace Kim

Slide By:Matthew N.

Are Your Parents Trying to Kill You?

Hi C v Coke

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Do your parents pack you a juice box in your lunch box everyday? If yes, your parents are killing you.

Your parents would never pack you a classic red can Coke every day because it has too much sugar. So, instead they probably would pack you a juice box for lunch instead. They  think that’s healthier. They Think. The Hi-c juice box has more sugar than a red can Coke. It has 44.4 grams of sugar!  A classic red can Coke has less than that. It has 39.9 grams of sugar! Solution: DRINK WATER!!!

People should start to notice how much sugar they are consuming in their drinks. Some people might have 5 juice boxes a day! Compare that to red can coke!

Do People in Poor Countries Have a Healthier Diet?

During class, we watched a movie called a Dollar a Day. Four college students went to a poor place in Guatemala. They went there for 56 days and had 56 dollars in all. They would draw out of a hat how much money they get for that day. They could get anywhere from 0 to 9 dollars a day. At the end of the 56 days, they had spent all of their money.

Image - Dollar a Day

During their time, they encountered really nice people. People who had almost nothing invited them into their home and gave them a nice dinner.

The four college student grew their own food, such as radishes. Overall, however, they had very little food. What made it hard for these students is that they went from having a lot of food one day to almost nothing, just like that. Their bodies had to quickly adjust to their new environment and life style.

In the movie, the four students tried to survive by themselves and do it all themselves.

After the first week, they realized that everyone had to work together as a community to survive.  The college students learned that life is hard in the conditions that they experienced. For the people who have to live there for their entire life, life truly is a struggle.

The movie taught me that in poor countries, people have to grow their crops and buy food from the fresh market. That means that they don’t have nearly as much candy or sweets as we do in the United States (or any at all).

Here in North Carolina, we can go to the store and buy sweets and all different varieties of food. In poor countries, the crops that they grow are things like corn and radishes.

In poor countries their diet is high in vegetables, soups and other things that are naturally high in vitamins.

People in these countries might be healthier than the people in the developed world who eat a lot of candy, fast foods and things that are really bad for your body.

The challenge in poor countries is that they often can’t get enough money to buy the necessary food they need to stay filled up. They do eat healthier foods in general, due to the lack of available sweets, and the crops that they grow are always fresh. Here in the U.S., our pantries are full of all kinds of different foods.

We need to help poor countries. But we also need to help our own countries eat healthier… and eating healthier starts by being aware of how much sugar is in our foods.

Matthew N.

A Few Too Many

This might blow your mind…

Image - Total Sugar Per Day

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Given that we’re supposed to eat 24 to 32 grams of sugar in a day, this statistic makes us rethink our sugar count. The average American eats 160 pounds of sugar per year which is the same as 199 grams of sugar per day.

-Joel H. and Conor A.

Milky Way

Milky Way

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Ever eaten a Fun Size Milky Way and drifted off into the galaxy?


Well I’m sorry for you, because in that one tiny bar of choclate, there are 10 grams of sugar. That Choclate bar will not fill you up, so you will probably want one or two more. Those fun sized Milky Way bars will blow your sugar total count, but not fill you up.


-Krish, Ried, Joel, and Jay