Ask the Nutritionist
George Parrino, No. Adams, Massachusetts
A: The rice pilaf recipe calls for 1 Tablespoon of sugar divided into 8 servings. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that we limit added sugars in our diets, but that doesn’t apply to the naturally occurring sugars in fruits like the cranberries and apples in this recipe. So when you look at the nutrition label and see that each serving contains 10 grams of sugar, remember that most of that is contributed by the natural sugars in the fruits. 1 Tablespoon of added sugar divided into 8 servings equates to less than 1/2 teaspoon of added sugar per serving.
In a recipe like this, you can remove the 1 Tablespoon of sugar from the recipe rather than add an artificial sweetener in its place. Considering the small amount of sugar being added, you won’t miss it from the dish if you choose to omit it.
Read more about artificial sweeteners.