Dear Readers: Limiting added sugar is a good idea. The American Heart Association ( 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 on a bag of sugar 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 (25 divided by 4 = 6.25 teaspoons), and for a man, it’s 9.5 teaspoons daily (38 divided by 4).

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

But wow: 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

Canning jar salad

Dear Heloise: I found a convenient way to take an entire salad to work with me: All the ingredients fit nicely into a canning jar! Layering keeps everything crisp and delicious.

Here’s the order: Wet ingredients in the bottom — salad dressing, tomatoes and cucumbers; then chicken or black beans; then rice and/or croutons; and then spinach or lettuce.

I can either shake it up and eat straight from the jar or pour it out onto a plate. A healthy and simple way to make

a delicious salad!

 — Karen S., Fort Wayne, Indiana

Don’t keep it bottled up

Dear Heloise: Do you know of anywhere we can donate empty prescription bottles?

 — Celeste, via email

Celeste, there are lots of organizations that reuse prescription bottles — an internet search will reveal them.

But you can also recycle them. Before donating or recycling, be sure to properly dispose of leftover medication (National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is April 27, 2019 — visit

Remove the label and all packing material, and put the lid on. Recycled pill bottles (there are over 4 billion prescriptions written every year, not to mention over-the-counter medications) can be reused as carpeting, fabrics and other home products.

The bottles also make wonderful organizational tools in the garage, sewing room or craft room.

— Heloise

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