2422704513_4aa5b0c543_oAs most of you know, I’m a big believer in health and wellness. As most of you know, sugar is very bad for you.  Sugar is responsible, among other things, for the increase in obesity and Type II Diabetes that has increased among our children and a myriad of health complications in the general population.  What many people aren’t aware of is that sugar is in almost everything….  Everything packaged, that is.  I recently learned, through food intolerance testing, that I have trouble digesting fruit and sugar together. My intolerance is so severe, I must not mix fruit and sugar within 8 hours of each other.

My daily routine is to start my day off with a delicious organic fruit smoothie. I get 6 servings of fruit in that breakfast treat each and every morning. If I finish the drink by 8 a.m. I can’t have anything with sugar in it until after 4 p.m. Little did I know that the vast majority of everything that I eat – other than grains, nuts, seeds and vegetables has sugar in it. Yes, you heard that right – just about everything else. As a carbohydrate lover, the first thing to check was bread. It’s hard to imagine life without my bread. I quickly discovered some great news which was that artisan bread did NOT contain sugar – thank you God. When I go out for an occasional hamburger however, I must bring my own bun. My guilty pleasure of occasionally eating potato chips is also a problem…….yes, the vast majority have sugar in them. Fortunately, I found one brand that didn’t include sugar. This intolerance had a profound impact on my eating habits.  If I know that I’ll be away from my stash all day, I’ll skip my smoothie and have organic whole grain cereal instead so that I’ll have to just keep an eye out for hidden fruit which is easier to anticipate then hidden sugar.

I shouldn’t have been caught off guard when I stumbled upon this web site, rethinkyourasiandrink.org   They did an impressive job of pointing out the high sugar content in bottled or canned Asian drinks, many of which are tea related.  Perhaps most surprising was Taste Nirvana Thai Tea whose 9.5 ounce bottle contained 7.5 teaspoons of sugar followed by Yeo’s Ice Green Tea containing 7.5 teaspoons of sugar per serving. As I’m not a huge ice tea drinker, this had passed my radar quite easily.  What about you? Have you checked the sugar content of your favorite brand of iced tea? I googled most popular bottled iced tea and got Snapple brand. Through a bit of investigating (it wasn’t easily available) I learned that there are only a few ingredients in their lemon tea: filtered water, SUGAR, citric acid, tea, natural flavors.  As a second ingredient, there are 36 grams of sugar in this individual serving bottle of tea.  Well, maybe 36 grams isn’t that much you think……..well think again. 36 grams of sugar = 9 teaspoons of sugar.  I googled how much sugar should a person consume each day and this is what I got:1504806749_f4a4c5510b_o

“These guidelines state that most women should consume no more than 100 calories or 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of added sugar each day and most men should consume no more than 150 calories or 9 teaspoons (36 grams). Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda has about 130 calories and 8 teaspoons (32 grams) of sugar.

So Snapple thinks, if you’re a woman, you should exceed your daily amount of sugar intake with one of their lemon teas. I consider this unconscionable.

Some of you who are more health-conscious may have already found the low sugar or non-sugar brands of iced tea. Yes, the industry is moving in that direction, fortunately. But for the vast majority of Americans out there, they’re not paying attention to sugar content and tend to buy what’s most prominent on their grocery store shelves or what advertisement caught their attention. Ultimately, making ice tea yourself is always best, not only to avoid the added sugar but to consume the freshest tea with the highest antioxidant punch.