Q: I am trying to reduce my sugar intake. I eat pretty healthy, and have tried to use Splenda in my morning cappuccino…but I hate the taste! I use light brown sugar (1 loose tbsp.) along with about 1/2 cup of 1% organic milk. I normally have some breakfast about 1-2 hours after my coffee. I really don’t want to use sugar substitutes. Does it matter that much? Amy in Florida
A: Amy, Sugar consumption only matters if you are the typical American consuming 150 pounds of added sugars each year, and/or you are overweight. Most people have no idea how much sugar they consume, since most of the sugar is added for us before the food ever gets into the house. The scant amount of sugar you are adding to one cup of coffee in the morning is nothing. It is the tablespoons of sugar in almost any food that comes in a box, bag, carton, or wrapper. For example, there are up to 8 teaspoons of sugar in fruited yogurts, up to 7 teaspoons of sugar in some frozen entrees, and almost 4 teaspoons of sugar in a half cup of canned baked beans. Read labels – there are 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon. You can start removing sugar by just not buying anything that has more than a gram or two of added sugar.