Just a few teaspoonfuls of sugar?

Dear Readers: Limiting added sugar is a good idea. The American Heart Association (www.heart.org) advises women should consume a maximum of 25 grams of added sugar per day. And men? Thirty-eight grams. Although grams are a difficult concept to visualize, reading the label helps.

One teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams, so, according to the AHA, a woman should take in no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar daily, and for a man, it’s 9.5 teaspoons daily.

Children’s limits vary, but the AHA recommends between 3 and 6 teaspoons of sugar a day — that’s 12 to 25 grams.

The average American takes in 17 teaspoons per day of added sugar!

Ask your doctor what she or he advises. Fruits have natural sugars, and with their fiber content are healthier. — Heloise

Hand health

Dear Heloise: I learned in school that my hands can be really dirty — there can be 150 kinds of germs that live on them. Gross! And the germ that causes the common cold can stay alive for an entire day!

I tell all my friends to wash their hands with soap after using the restroom, after a sneeze or cough, and before cooking and eating. — Stella M., age 11, in Michigan

(Heloise is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. Send money-or time-saving hint to P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or E-Mail: Heloise@Heloise.com.)

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