Beware the Trojan horse of summer fare 

Snacks and more sneak in crazy amounts of sugar

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No wonder sugar consumption in North America has shot up by about 50 per cent over the last 30 years to the point where, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadians consume on average about 63 grams or 16 to 32 little packets of sugar every day.

All I can say is, thank God we were diluting it half and half with water. But still, between the two of us we downed the whole litre bottle, which meant that we'd each consumed nearly 60 grams of sugar with th at alone.

No one in their right mind would sit down and open 15, never mind nearly 30 packets into a half litre of water, stir it up and drink it, or dump that much sugar into a bowl, sit down and eat it with a spoon. But when you put these equivalents in terms of individual sugar packets, which we can easily picture, you soon get... well, the picture.

Now I have to 'fess up. Another source of hidden sugar that night was my crunchy summer coleslaw, which was dressed with olive oil, prosecco vinegar, fresh lemon juice and garlic, basil, celery seeds, mustard seeds, salt and — gulp — about two teaspoons of sugar.

Accuse me of assuaging my guilt but, really, that isn't too bad for a salad dressing. Grab some commercial bottles of salad dressing, and you'll be shocked at the amount of sugar.

There are exceptions, of course (Renee's Gourmet dressings, for one, are pretty reliable for not adding sugar). The point is to pick and choose wisely. Translation: read your labels, especially when it comes to Trojan horses like salad dressings that can slip in a wallop of sugar when it seems you're getting something healthy, like a garden-fresh salad. To whit, one serving of Kraft's Ranch classic dressing contains one gram of sugar, but their Honey Mustard dressing contains eight times that amount.

Yes, we need to balance our electrolytes during the heat of summer, especially for people who sweat profusely due to their activity levels or their genetics. The old wives' tale is we need the right ratio of salt and sugar dissolved in water. You can Google all kinds of recipes for homemade electrolyte-replacing drinks, but the common ratio is about five to 10 tablespoons of sugar to two quarts of water along with the requisite salts.

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