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Ask Dr. Katia: Why We Need to Watch Our Sugar Intake

Whether it’s a cooling Frappuccino or your mom’s comforting chocolate cake, most people love eating sweet foods and drinks. We associate food with memories and experiences that stay with us throughout our life1. Unfortunately, if we consume too much sugar, it turns into fat, which can also stay with us for the rest of our lives. The excessive consumption of dietary sugar has been well-studied and is associated with a higher risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension2.  The key word in this situation is “excessive”, as a small amount of sugar is still needed for our body to function; in particularly it is very important for brain development3.

Sugar for our Children

Current sugar intake recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for children between 2-18 years of age are to consume a maximum of 7 teaspoons (around 25 g) of sugar per day. Based on North American dietary practices, this amount seems to be quite small. A recent study done by the University of Guelph found that preschool-aged Canadian children consumed (on average) 86 g of sugar per day4. That is more than 3 times the recommended maximum amount! Sugar in our foods can be found in obvious places: sugar packets to sweeten coffee/tea, candies, cookies, chocolates, and lots of other sweet foods, to name a few. On the other hand, they can also be found in other foods as “hidden sugars”. This term refers to sugars in products that may not be obviously sweet. Without looking at the nutrition label, consumers may not even be aware that they are consuming sugars. Some of the top foods that contain hidden sugars are:

  • 100% fruit juice drinks
  • Sports drinks and energy drinks
  • Breads and cereals
  • Yogurts and flavored milks
  • Condiments

It is probably impossible to completely remove these foods from our diets, especially from children’s diets. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has provided the following recommendations to consumers that want to reduce their sugar intake5:

  • Drinks (fruit juices, sports, and energy drinks): choose water, flavored water, or sparkling water as much as possible. If you are going to have a beverage that contains sugar, add water to dilute it.
  • Breads and cereals: choose whole wheat options as much as possible. Fiber can help slow down the absorption of sugar, which means that you will have a sustained source of sugar for a longer period of time (lowering your blood glucose peak)6.
  • Yogurts and flavored drinks: look for plain yogurt and milk options that do not contain added sugars. For plain yogurt, you can add some fruits to make it naturally sweeter.

Herbaland's New Low Sugar Oh My! Gummies

At Herbaland, we strive to provide the best gummy products for you and your family. We are always looking for new ingredients and innovations as well as taking note of consumer trends and what our customers are looking for in their supplements and snacks. Recently, we have seen a rise in the better-for-you market, with people looking for healthy snacks that are sugar-free, reduced sugar, or have no sugar added. In response to this trend, we are launching our Oh My! Gummies. This new line of vegan candy has 2 key characteristics:

  • They contain only 2 g of sugar per pouch.
  • They contain 25 g of dietary fiber per pouch (Health Canada recommends that women eat 25 g of fiber per day).

These gummies come in 2 different shapes (for now):

  • Oh my Bears! These bear shaped gummies were formulated using delicious fruity pineapple and peach flavors, as a healthy option for when those sugar cravings hit.
  • Oh my Berries! These sour watermelon-flavored gummies come in a traditional berry shape, formulated for people who enjoy a mixture of sweet and sour notes.

The Oh My! snack gummies are a healthy snack that both children and adults can enjoy worry-free! By choosing these low sugar and high fiber gummies, you can indulge in a sweet treat while minimizing the negative health effects associated with excessive sugar consumption.


Dr Katia Caballero, Herbaland R&D

My name is Dr. Katia Caballero, I have a PhD in Human Nutrition and experience in the fields of food science, biotechnology, and clinical nutrition. I currently work at Herbaland Naturals as a Research and Development Technician, looking to find new and innovative ways to make gummies healthy, nutritious, and fun.



  1. Abarca, M. E. & Colby, J. R. Food memories seasoning the narratives of our lives. Food Foodways 24, 1–8 (2016).
  2. Misra, V., Shrivastava, A. K., Shukla, S. P. & Ansari, M. I. Effect of sugar intake towards human health. Saudi Med. J, 1, 29–36 (2016).
  3. Goyal, M. S. & Raichle, M. E. Glucose requirements of the developing human brain. J. Pediatr. Gastroenterol. Nutr. 66, S46–S49 (2018).
  4. Mahajan, A. et al. Dietary sugar intake among preschool-aged children: a cross-sectional study. Can. Med. Assoc. Open Access J. 9, E855–E863 (2021).
  5. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Hidden Sugars in Food.
  6. Pierre, W. & F. Xavier, P.-S. The Role of Viscous Soluble Fiber in the Metabolic Control of Diabetes: A review with special emphasis on cereals rich in β-glucan. Diabetes Care 20, 1774–1780 (1997).


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