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Archive for April, 2010

  • Day 61: How Sandra Bullock is Like Singapore

    Date: 2010.04.28 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 1

    What does it take to make sure you’re not a victim? Sandra Bullock knows.  Nobody has heard a word from her since her marriage collapsed 10 days after she won a Best Actress Oscar. Word got out her husband Jesse James was a cheating hound with a penchant for tattoed strippers and Nazi paraphernalia.  Poor Sandra.

    Today, Sandra owns the cover of PEOPLE magazine and the cover line is all about her “secret” adopted son, Louis. “Meet My Baby!”

    Mention of her impending divorce from Jesse is relegated to what they call the “deck” in the magazine trade.  Jesse James had his moment in the sun.  Bullock didn’t amass a $75 million fortune and win an Oscar for being totally dumb.  She took a hit but decided to advance the story with her own plot point as fast as possible.

    Make no mistake, Bullock made sure the 10-page PEOPLE cover story, for sale Friday, left nothing to chance when it came to letting the world knew she nothing of Jesse’s affairs or Nazi salutes.  Jesse’s become her bitch, too, with his own statement flagellating himself. But the story’s no longer  so much about him.

    This is called genius PR.  This is called getting lemons and then making lemonade that outsells everyone else.  It’s about the war of life.

    Which brings me to… Singapore.

    I just returned from a quick trip over the border to Johor Bahru, Malaysia and now I’m back in the ultra-modern city-state of Singapore that looks like a gorgeous,  souped-up, skyscraper-filled sci-fi version of the ultimate but lost forever American City.

    It’s not just that there’s a Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on every corner and copies of last week’s National Enquirer in doctors’ offices. (English is the first language here.)

    Check out the Marina Bay Sands “integrated resort” a.k.a hotel and casino that had its soft opening yesterday and dwarfs anything in Vegas – or Chartres for that matter.

    I had a few minutes to spare so I dropped by and rolled down to the casino to play 10 Singapore dollars in the slot machines but spent most of my time eyeballing the tough Cantonese women huddled around the blackjack croupiers and thought to myself, if we’re (Americans) up against them God help us.

    The croupiers are young and (I think) trying not to look nervous.  They probably are nervous because this is Singapore’s first casino and they had to undergo croupier school here just to learn this new trade.

    Singapore’s got a new casino and a hotel the size of Xanadu for one reason.  They’re making sure they stay competitive.  About this they know a lot.

    Singapore has an interesting story:  Not long ago it was a colonial outpost/typical Third World country but worse off than most because it’s a tiny enclave not much bigger than Manhattan island with zero natural resources.

    In 1965, six years after legendary Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew took over the country after it broke from British control, Singapore took a huge hit.  It was supposed to merge with what is now Malaysia and be part of a new super-country independent from British rule.

    For complicated reasons, some involving race riots, Malaysia decided to dump Singapore and not merge with them.  Singapore was cut loose, on its own in the world with not much going for it. (To this day, they have to buy their water from Malaysia.)

    Yew, in 1965, publicly called the forced separation a moment of “anguish.” It was not at all part of his plan.

    But Yew had some serious Sandra Bullock qualities. Meaning self-pity and playing the victim was not how he saw himself and Singapore. So Singapore went to Plan B. It took a while.

    Singapore was so poor in the 1960s and 1970s that many people today who are in their 40s and 50s remember walking to wells every day to get water and carry it back to their homes.

    Fast forward t0 2010.  Singapore is the fourth richest country per capita in the world.  It could have just as easily become a perpetual slum.  Those 40- and 50-somethings, at least some of them, are driving BMWs.

    How they did it is best left to the economists and political scientists.  I have enough trouble writing convincingly about Asian food.

    All I can say – when you’re in a bad firefight – you want to have people like Bullock and Lee Kuan Yew in your foxhole.

  • Day 60: Is This Cheating? Blame the Singapore Stall Crawl.

    Date: 2010.04.28 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 1

    Could this be considered cheating? I was doing so well on a late night romp through Seetoh’s secret address book to all the killer food stalls in Singapore…

    Before we get to that… let’s recap the evening.

    Seetoh and his Mankansutra empire  is the Rachael Ray/Jamie Oliver/Martha Stewart of Singapore: He stars in a weekly show on the Asian Food Channel, authors guidebooks, leads tours, and is on a first-name basis with everyone from Stewart herself to Anthony “No Reservations” Bourdain.

    The best of Singapore food is not to be found in the Vegas-meets-South Coast Plaza skyscraper hotels springing all over this miniscule, though hyper-moneyed city-state.

    Rich or poor, S’poreans know which hawkers to go to for lunch or dinner. Hawkers who used to sell their wares in an old, portable stalls on the street got whisked off the sidewalks once Singapore started hitting it big and now they’re cloistered in efficient food courts.

    Nobody knows the best of the best hawker stalls like Seetoh.

    We stopped for some amazing chicken rice (one of the top national dishes) at the Wee Nam Kee chicken rice shop. Picture below.  It was SO good!  Seetoh kept telling me to pace myself but I wanted to gobble it all down because it tasted so fresh and  fantastic.

    The Wee Nam Kee chicken rice shop is more of a small restaurant than a hawker stall and the food is deceptively plain-looking. Seetoh pointed out the master cook who he said had to apprentice for about 10 years before mastering the art of cooking foods like chicken and rice perfectly – and being consistent enough to turn out each of the hundreds of dishes he makes a night perfectly.

    After chicken rice we continued the stall crawl for yet more wonderful food:  pork and beef satay with a peanut sauces mixed in with pineapple.  (Forgot to photograph that.) Then you could add some red chili sauce.  We also ate some fresh skate with a piquant brown sauces rubbed over it.  I love spicy Asian food – the next best thing to candy!

    It’s hard to pick a favorite but the curry laksa, a spicy coconut curry soup with noodles, was one of the best things I ever tasted. Below I’m checking out how the boss of the laksa shop does the blanching that’s part of the process of making the soup concoction.  (You can tell I’m not a food writer by the preceding sentence.)

    But the was our final stop at Seetoh’s own aptly named Mankansutra’s Glutton Bay, where he’s designed this cool, retro-hawker cart outdoor restaurant on a sprawling esplanade with a view of the Marina skyline.  We all sat at a table by the water; last night’s full moon and balmy temperatures combined to make us all a little loose and giddy, talking to well after midnight.

    Maybe a little too loose and giddy.

    When Seetoh ordered the kaya jam toast and with the banana tempura kaya fondue (pictured below,) I kept trying to explain to him, see I’m doing this year off sweets thing.  Seetoh kept looking at me blankly, as well he should.

    The banana tempura had no sugar, he said, the other dish could be considered “jam and toast” and while the kaya (the sweet green-colored sauce) had sugar in it, he said, go ahead!  He said this about 20 times.

    So I did.  (See top photo.)  I dipped the banana tempura in about one centimeter of the sweet sauce while Seetoh kept yelling, “More, dip it more!”  But that’s as much as I dipped – and it was delicious.  Plus according to Seetoh, Singaporeans are insomniacs and eat this dish at all hours of the day and night so it’s considered breakfast as much as anything else.

    That’s what he said.

  • Day 59: Chocolate and Depression: The Connection

    Date: 2010.04.27 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    A Year Without Candy reader Catherine Thenault brought the below ABC News article to my attention.  But it’s a confusing story:  Do you eat more chocolate because you’re depressed or does eating more chocolate cause you to become depressed?

    I’m puzzled because I’ve never had a depressive personality – and that hasn’t changed one way or another since I haven’t had chocolate for the past two months.  I do know, however, that my friend, the novelist and poet Rochelle Jewell Shapiro,  said she felt I was more “even-tempered” during a period in 2002-2003 when I gave up sweets. Hmmm…

    But everyone’s different, maybe you’ll see yourself in this piece.

    See entire article at ABC News here

    Chocolate and Depression: Is There a Connection?

    The More Chocolate You Eat, the Higher Your Risk of Depression, Study Hints

    Staff Writer

    April 26, 2010—

    The more clinically depressed people become, the more chocolate they eat, a study has found.

    People who tested positive for depression consumed about 60 percent more chocolate compared with people who had lower test scores. A depression score suggesting major depression more than doubled chocolate consumption, investigators reported in the April 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

    The association held up for both men and women and appeared unaffected by other dietary factors. But whether the findings meant that depressed people may eat more chocolate — or more chocolate may make people depressed — is still unclear.

    “Whether there is a causal connection, and if so in which direction, is a matter for future prospective study,” Dr. Natalie Rose of the University of California, Davis, and colleagues wrote in conclusion.

    Cultural traditions have long associated chocolate with mood benefits, as reflected in almost 6 million results the authors retrieved in a Google search of “chocolate” and “mood.”

    One 2007 study in the British Journal of Psychiatry showed that half of 3,000 people with depression said that chocolate actually made them feel better.

    In general, however, associations between chocolate and mood have attracted little scientific interest, Rose and coauthors wrote. The scant published information on the issue has come from studies that had design flaws that limited interpretation of the results.

    To improve the quantity and quality of data, the authors examined the relationship between chocolate consumption and mood in 931 men and women who participated in a clinical study of cholesterol control. The questionnaire used in the study included an item about chocolate consumption. Additionally, participants completed a food frequency questionnaire, and investigators assessed the depression level of participants.

    Investigators compared chocolate consumption in study participants with lower versus higher scores for depression. The results showed that participants who tested positive for depression consumed an average of 8.4 servings of chocolate per month compared with 5.4 servings among participants with lower scores. Participants with the highest depression scores consumed an average of 11.8 servings of chocolate per month.

    “In contrast to the findings for chocolate, differences in consumption of fat, energy, or carbohydrates by [depression score] group were not significant, suggesting relative specificity of the chocolate finding,” the authors wrote.

    Rose and coauthors suggested several mechanistic explanations for the observed association between chocolate consumption and depression score:

    * Stimulation of self-treatment or self-medication with chocolate

    * Stimulation of chocolate craving for reasons unrelated to depression

    * Chocolate may drive depressive symptoms, rather than vice versa

    * Inflammation or other physiologic factors might drive chocolate craving and depression

  • Day 58: Surviving 12 Hours in Business Class without Dessert

    Date: 2010.04.26 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 1

    Traveling is the hardest time for me to stick with any diet regimen – which in my case of course involves avoiding sweets.

    For years, I used to fly Continental’s first class on frequent business trips from Newark to Los Angeles.  Depending on which direction you were flying, dessert after the main meal was a huge, warm chocolate chip cookie or vanilla Haagen Dazs with your choice of sundae toppings – like chocolate or caramel sauce and whipped cream.

    I was in heaven.  Once I had the temerity to ask the (fat, as I recall, flight attendant) for an second chocolate chip cookie.  I can still remember the look of scorn she gave me as if I were Carnie Wilson, pre-gastric bypass operation.  But hey, she went and got one for me.

    I feared the worst  - dessert-wise – during yesterday’s 12-hour flight from Munich to Singapore.

    I don’t fly to this part of the world often. You can tell because when I get to my incredibly complicated business-class compartment, all those around me (mainly businessmen) are bustling about like efficient little captains putting their tiny command centers in order.

    They turn on their flatscreens effortlessly,  plug in their laptops by flipping open one of about 30 mysterious panels, adjust the six different height levels for the seat that folds into a bed with practiced airs, and switch on one of four different little reading lights. They’re all settled in, special Singapore Airlines blue sleeping booties affixed to their feet, while I’m still trying to find one overhead light.

    I must look like a country mouse who won a business seat ticket in a bake sale raffle.  Where is my Minnie Pearl hat with the ticket hanging off it?

    Once I finally did get settled, a geisha-like Singapore Airlines stewardess, slim with a long, close-fitting dress and full, impeccable makeup – offered me a menu. Haagen Dazs vanilla for dessert?  Check.  But it was billed as mixed with a “berry compote.”  Not my thing. Don’t put fruit in my ice cream. Instantly takes a lot of the craving away.  Incredibly, I didn’t see any other desserts offered.

    I had a lot of work to do on the flight, and my flight attendant friend, an ethnic Chinese like many Singaporeans, remarked that I wasn’t watching any movies. True, but figuring that out would have been another 30-minute chore requiring half the flight-staff.

    I wasn’t very hungry on the flight and slept a little bit.  I woke up at one point in search of water and came across the snacks in the business class kitchen.  Again, a relief because they weren’t that tempting.  I got a bottle of water and some chips (Asian ones that were amazing, wish I remembered the brand.)

    I did note some little, beribboned boxes near the chips – containing dark and milk gourmet chocolates with pralines.  Would have killed for some in the moment. But back at my seat, with water, chips and an overpriced Vanity Fair from the Munich airport, I got past the cravings.

    Final note: I tried the strawberry Movenpick yogurt for breakfast just before we landed.  One of the best things I’ve ever tasted!  That’s what it looked like (below) except in mango flavor. Fantastic.

    Off to explore the city-state…


  • Day 57: Temptation Inside B Class Departure Lounge

    Date: 2010.04.25 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    There’s a troublemaker back at HQ who knows my weak spots. He clearly wired ahead and made enemy operatives fill up the business class lounge in Munich with miniature After Eights.

    The miniature After Eights weren’t enough.  He had to place this container below right next to them which contained some Haribo, a German chewy candy that is among my favorites.

    Now this is war.

    Fortunately, I was distracted by a woman in black chador, her eyes barely visible through slits who poked me in the arm while I was reviewing the packaging on the After Eights.

    “Tea?” she bellowed.

    I am always fascinated with women in chadors, especially if they’re Saudis since I’m obsessed with Saudi Arabia and am even now reading Robert Lacey’s Inside the Kingdom.

    I pointed her to the tea area and she yelled “black!”  She probably can’t read the European alphabet because if she’s Saudi, their education for girls sucks.

    She went back to her table with another woman-in-black and the two of them started trying to sip their tea through a fold near their chin.

    FYI, I enjoyed the apples, peanuts and wasabi mix!

    T minus one hour until


  • Day 57: Guten Morgen! A Year Without Candy Road Trip

    Date: 2010.04.25 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    I travel a lot and 95 percent of the time I’m able to arrange at least a mid-morning flight. Not always. This morning, the alarm went off at an undignified 5 a.m. for a 6:40 a.m. flight.  But my (long) layover in Munich has one upside: a Starbucks (true it’s a giant pain to get to because it’s outside the gates but after months of weak French coffee and mostly green tea every morning the hike out there is worth it.)

    My first challenge came aboard Lufthansa – not long after we soared above the shimmering blue seas of the Mediterranean, took a left turn at Italy and and began our ascent over Thomas Mann’s magic mountains, the Alps.

    After some delicious German brown bread, cheese and butter for breakfast, the flight attendant walked over to my seat holding a basket of generous-sized German chocolates.

    “You would like?” she said.

    Yes, I would like.  But nein danke.

    Sigh.  It’s going to be a long week. I’m headed to Singapore on official business. I’m a journalist, or so that’s the cover Langley’s given me.

    Road trips have traditionally been a tough time for me to eat well.  At home I like good food but junk is always a temptation on the road. I like a stash of Junior Mints, or M & Ms or Raisinets on a flight. Also, a bag of salt and vinegar kettle chips packed in with a huge bottle of water can hit the spot.

    In between destinations, at a world-class airport like Munich, a nice pastry or two makes the time go by just a little faster.

    If you know France at all, you can tell right away when you’ve left because you’re assaulted by huge amounts of sweets in the next country you visit. France, for all its vaunted patisseries, just doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. And you’d never see pastries stuffed to overflowing like these on the left in Munich.

    But I’m kind if relieved to be on my first mission assignment since beginning my Year Without Candy on Feb. 28, 2010.

    At least, I’m telling myself, the choice has been removed.   I can’t have any sweets so at least the negotiating in my head for how many I can have and the subsequent guilt and remorse I experience when I eat too many – won’t even be a factor on this trip.

    I hope!

    Hmmm, those German chocolate bars do look robust. Just like the people. Always such a shock to leave France and no longer be one of the tallest people around. The large hands of German women so fascinate me.  Some of them are almost paw-like. All the better to tear into those big tablets of chocolate.

    See you in Singapore…


  • Day 56: Kristin Davis “Prefers Sweets to Skinny Jeans”

    Date: 2010.04.24 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 2

    She has hips? Where?  Love the rock-hard stomach.  (Even though we know this photo has been majorly PhotoShopped.) Digital fantasy or not,  I want me some and I better have see it after I finish up 365 days of candy.

    Below story from

    If there’s pressure in Hollywood to be stick-thin, Kristin Davis isn’t letting it get to her.

    “I have hips!” the actress, 45, and Fitness magazine bikini cover girl says in the magazine’s May issue. “I’m never going to be the thinnest actress, and I don’t want to be. When you’re at peace with yourself and your body, you’re automatically more confident.”

    But that doesn’t mean the Sex and the City 2 star doesn’t work hard to get toned and fit. Once an avid runner (she used to do seven miles on a beach before suffering ankle injuries), Davis now turns to the elliptical, yoga, Pilates and even some jumping jacks with resistance bands when she’s on the road traveling.

    And when it comes to food, the actress has a few rules she lives by: Keep it healthy (chicken and salmon and side salads) but also indulge once in a while.

    “If all I ate were salads ever day, I’d shoot myself,” she says. “Who cares if you can fit in your skinny jeans if you can’t enjoy life and have something good to eat?”

    For Davis, that includes chocolate – “I especially love M&M’s,” she says – and ice cream.

    “I went through periods when I said I can’t have this, I can’t have that,” she recalls. “Now I don’t deprive myself. Food is meant to be enjoyed.”

  • Day 56: Alert the Teabaggers! Obama Loves Pie!

    Date: 2010.04.24 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    Paging Sarah Palin!  Is this another sign that we’re headed down the road of radical socialism? Better reload.  Obama, it turns out, loves pie and since there’s a rockin’ pastry chef at La Maison Blanche and he’s got to make sure he doesn’t eat too many.

    Maybe he needs a blog called, A Year Without Pie?

    Here’s the Associated Press story running in all the outlets about PLPOTUS (Pie Loving President of the United States.)

    BURBANK, Calif. — Presidents have had their indulgences – Ronald Reagan loved jellybeans and Bill Clinton binged at McDonald’s. What’s President Barack Obama’s weak spot?


    Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, told Jay Leno Friday that the president was forced to “separate” from the White House pastry chef to break his bad eating habits.

    “One of the things that happened when he came to the White House is they have a very great pastry chef. It became a big problem,” Axelrod confided on “The Tonight Show.”

    The president, he said, “has a weakness for pie.”

    The chunky-built Axelrod might just be needling his boss – Obama lectures him about diet, exercise and his “beer gut.”

    The pie problem didn’t come up earlier this year when the 48-year-old president was declared in excellent health by his doctors. An avid basketball player and golfer, it was said he eats modest portions.

    Axelrod had a different story: He says the president loves cheeseburgers and pie, hardly health food.

    The news wouldn’t be welcomed by first lady Michelle Obama, who’s on a campaign against childhood obesity.

  • Day 56: Jean-Marc, My Own “Doubting Thomas”

    Date: 2010.04.24 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    We live in a great little neighborhood in the south of France, in the super-old section of Nice called Vieux Nice, and we all sort of know each other – expats, the locals – after a while we’re all locals.

    People are always crashing chez nous and Jean-Marc, who’s just gotten back from Paris, will be here while I’m off in Singapore for a week.  I didn’t even know he was reading A Year Without Candy until we were sitting out on the terrace today.

    He was telling me he has a sweet tooth, too, which I didn’t realize.  Then he looked at me sharply and asked me to take off my sunglasses and look straight at him. Then he says:

    “Are you really not cheating?  Even a little bit?”



    I’m really not, even though recently it’s been pretty hard.  As I’ve said before, I’m not one of those people who experienced an instant miracle going off candy and sweets.  Nor did I lose my cravings in the 21 days it allegedly takes to be free of them!

    Some days it’s not too bad not to have any chocolate or ice cream or dessert of any kind – other times it’s very hard.  My taste buds just want sweet things.  It’s what excites them and gets them through this life.  My taste buds are like heat-seeking missiles for sweets.

    Savory food, potato chips – that stuff is fine.  But for me comparing regular food to sweets is like comparing going to the Jersey Shore to going to Turks and Caicos.

    Got reservations for Alain Ducasse in Brignoles – which is about 90 miles west of here on the way to Provence? Hey, it’ll be a great meal, guaranteed.  I love it there, the food, the ambiance, everything.  But if there wasn’t anything sweet at the end of the meal?  Feh, I’d rather go to the Dairy Queen for a mint Oreo Blizzard.  I know, why is the fabulous south of France existence wasted on me?  I’m not even a wine lover!

    The very hardest time is when I don’t feel well. Once or twice a year I’m prone to a very bad headache that will make me nauseous if I don’t have the ant-migraine tablet Zomig at the ready. Zomig stops a bad headache or migraine in its tracks.

    Last week I had a bad headache and some nausea and even though I popped a Zomig in time, you feel a bit sick all day.  Now the cure for a headache and nausea – the tried and true trick – is a Diet Coke with ice and a chocolate bar, preferably a Hershey bar.  Throughout my life friends have mocked me when I suggested this potent medicine – yet even the most doubting Thomi have tried it and admitted it works.

    I did cave last week and had a Diet Coke with ice when I felt sick but no chocolate.

    I had another weak moment Thursday night after a business meeting in Nice’s city center.  I was walking back to Vieux Nice with my friend Laurent. I began considering buying a can of whipped cream.

    As we walked along the Boulevard Jean Jaures, I tuned Laurent out as I started a series of negotiations in my head.  I’d buy the can and have one bowl of whipped cream and then throw it out.  With me, if I have anything in the house I don’t want to finish eating, I have to soak it in water or bleach or else leave the house and place in an outdoor garbage can.

    I rationalized to myself that whipped cream did not qualify exactly for what I committed to giving up for a year.  I said no candy or desserts. Well, isn’t whipped cream sort of an accessory to a dessert?

    I was very close to buying whipped cream at the Epicerie Centrale. Laurent unwittingly saved me.  He had to buy some wine for a friend he was going to see – so he headed into the store ahead of me.  He doesn’t know about this blog, nor would he care.  But I took it as a sign that he walked ahead of me just enough to reach the store first.

    I turned and went home.

    To a sweet-less night.

    Ce n’est pas facile, cette vie.

    Pauvre moi,

  • Day 55: Breaking News! Added Sugar Bites!

    Date: 2010.04.23 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 1

    I live in France most of the time and even with the omnipresent Internet, sometimes I miss news coming out of the U.S.  My friend and fellow journalist Lisa McRee in Los Angeles had to tip me to yesterday’s barrage of news reports on a new study in the Journal of American Medicine saying, oops, sugar sucks and is bad for you.  Specifically added sugars – the sugar put in stuff you don’t think even has sugar.

    Every media outlet had something on this but in honor of ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where McRee and I both used to work, here is their take:

    Study: Dietary Added Sugars Pose Heart Attack, Stroke and Diabetes Risk

    Added Sugar May Be Where You Least Expect It


    Good Morning America

    April 21, 2010—

    The average American consumes about 156 pounds of added sugar each year per capita, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    That’s troubling, especially when those statistics are coupled with the results of a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association which says there’s a significant correlation between dietary added sugars and an increased risk for diabetes, heart attack and stroke, “Good Morning America’s” medical contributor Dr. Marie Savard said this morning on the show.

    Published this week, this is the first major study to look at sugar and blood fats. It found that added sugar has adverse effects on the level of blood fats and therefore, on the heart.

    Natural vs. Added Sugar

    Sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables and milk, but manufacturers add extra sugar during processing, to boost the flavor or aid with preservation. Consumers may also add sugar to foods on their own.

    American adults eat about 104 grams of sugar per day, but the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 25 grams per day for women and to 37.5 grams a day for men, Savard said.

    Savard pointed out that teens were getting more than six times their recommended sugar intake — or 161 grams per day.

    Savard reviewed certain foods that have naturally occurring sugars:

    Grapes: 1 cup has 15 grams of sugar.

    Raisins: ¼ cup has 29 grams of sugar.

    Grape juice: One cup has 41 grams of sugar.

    Whole milk: One cup has about 12 grams of sugar. Milk sugar isn’t very sweet, Savard said.

    Plain full fat yogurt: Six ounces has 12 grams of sugar.

    Fruit- or vanilla-flavored yogurt: About 25 grams.

    When fruit is dried, though, the sugar becomes more concentrated, so consumers may be tempted to eat more to feel fuller.

    Surprising Sugary Foods

    Added sugars may lurk in food where they are least expected.

    For example, a 16-ounce latte may have about 17 grams of sugar, but a Starbucks Frappucino of the same size has about three times the amount of added sugar.

    Fruit smoothies may also contain surprising amounts of sugar. One Odwalla Original Superfood bottled smoothie has about 50 grams of sugar — the rough equivalent of about the amount of sugar found in five donuts.

    Sugars may also be found in another surprising place: sandwiches.

    A 6-inch chicken submarine sandwich has have 17 grams of sugar. However, Lunchables, a popular packed school lunch, may have 36 grams — or twice that of the sandwich.

    The sub may have 17 grams of sugar, a Lunchables package may have 36 grams  or twice that of the sandwich.

    A typical school lunch — which could contain a glass of Welch’s grape juice and six ounces of vanilla yogurt — would have 101 grams of sugar, Savard said.

    Click HERE for tips on how you can reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet.

    To avoid the risk of added sugars, some people turn to artificial sweeteners, but Savard urged caution.

    Artificial sweeteners don’t add calories, but they do create a craving for more sweets, she noted.

    Splenda is about 600 times as sweet as table sugar, Sweet’N Low is about 300 times as sweet and Equal is about 200 times as sweet, she explained.

    Consumers are now also being offered agave, a sweetener promoted as natural but which is all fructose, she said. Agave is processed and has calories. This kind of sugar gets packed on as fat in the liver, she added.

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This American candy addict/journalist in France writes about quitting candy – and all desserts – for at least one year beginning Feb. 28, 2010. Follow my progress – or relapses – as I delete candy corn, moelleux au chocolat, peppermint patties, Carambars, tarte tatin, After Eights, crème brûlée, Nutella, tapioca pudding, mint chocolate chip ice cream, Haribo Polkas, M & Ms and more from my life. Learn about the evils of white sugar and its effects on mood and health from my interviews with experts and friends! Let the sugar fog lift!

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