Sorting Out The Myths

By: Mindy Stone Email
By: Mindy Stone Email

New products are hitting grocery store shelves almost everyday leaving many shoppers wondering what is good, what is bad and what is healthy.

You may have seen Vitamin Water the last time you went grocery shopping. Even the name makes you think it's a healthy choice.

"That's what gets people to buy it," said Dr. Ron Ronco.

But, at least one Colorado Springs dentist says it's expensive Kool Aid. Doctor Ronco says vitamin water doesn't have a substantial amount of vitamins in it to make a difference. And it's not good for your teeth because it's full of sugar.

"You're not going to see sugar on the back of the label, which misleads people to think this is a healthier alternative. But, if you read closely it says crystalline fructose," said Dr. Ronco.

Crystalline Fructose is another name for sugar. Thirty-nine grams are in a bottle of vitamin water, compare that to a glass of kool aid or a can of soda.

"You're bathing your teeth in sugar which is feeding bacteria, which is going to cause tooth decay," said Dr. Ronco.

So what about those who try to stay away from sugar? Turns out even they're not in the clear. Artificial sweeteners are hitting the shelves all the time, too. But registered dietitian Mary Peet says why bother?

"Alitte bit of sugar is okay," said Peet.

A teaspoon of sugar has just 15 calories. So, don't feel bad about putting it in your coffee or on top of your cereal.

"The key is moderation," said Peet.

Research shows artificial sweeteners confuse the body which is programmed to associate sweet tastes with calories consumed. So, when we repeatedly eat something sweet that provides little or no calories, researchers say we break that connection and our confused bodies keep looking for more food.

Some snackers might reach for something like apple chips. You would think they're a healthier choice because it sounds like you're eating fruit.

"These are kind of like eating potato chips. I'd say no probably not. It's better to get apples that are dry," said Peet.

Bottom line ... Peet says fruits and vegetables and even water and sugar serve us best when we leave them alone. She also suggest taking a multi-vitamin every day.

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