CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) -
1. I have seen Fruit-SweetnessTM on some food labels. What is it?
People are looking for a zero calorie sweetener that is not artificial and Fruit-Sweetness is an excellent choice.
It is made from a small green melon called Monk fruit. The monk fruit is crushed, mixed with hot water, filtered and spray-dried to form a sweet powder. You will find it in granola, cocktails and other foods and beverages.
I recently had the chance to taste it at a convention and found that it tastes like sugar without the aftertaste of other low calorie sweetener. People in Asia have enjoyed it for centuries and it may actually have health benefits.
Preliminary research shows it may reduce your risk of cancer and diabetes.
Is it available in packets that you can add to your own coffee and tea? Not right now but hopefully soon. To me it does more like table sugar than anything available on the market today.
2. Should I stop taking calcium because I read it increase risk for cardiovascular disease?
In June The New York Times had a headline telling women not to take calcium based on one new study.
Experts now say that the one study gave women 1000 milligrams of calcium on top of what the women were eating in their diets. The total calcium intake was as high as 2000 milligrams and that may be risky.
Experts from Tufts Research Center on Aging say the bottom line is this: Get 1200 milligrams of calcium a day.
Try to get it from food but if you can't, fill in the gap with a supplement, but do not go over 1200 milligrams total. Yet just because doctors are busy, they may say "take 1200 milligrams of calcium a day" and not clarify that the recommendation includes the food you eat.
For reference, 1 cup of milk contains 300 milligrams of calcium, 1 cup of plain yogurt contains 400 milligrams, 1 cup of greek yogurt has less calcium at 250 milligrams. The calcium in cheese will vary from a low of 170 milligrams in an ounce of American cheese to a high of 270 milligrams in an ounce of Swiss cheese.