The Valiber swivel stick can be used to determine how much sugar is in some food items. The Valiber swivel stick can be used to determine how much sugar is in some food items. The Valiber stick can be used to determine how much sugar is in some food items. (Photo: Courtesy Valiber)

A sugar-monitoring stick you can count on to control your calories

Company creates universal sweetness sensor to keep sugar in check.

We all know that too much sugar isn't good for us, and now we're seeing reports that artificial sweeteners may be even more dangerous to our health. So good, old-fashioned sugar is back on the menu, although it still must be taken in moderation.

But how much sugar are we really ingesting when we drink restaurant lemonade, or our sister's frosty summer drinks and margaritas?

Until now we counted out teaspoons, tablespoons, cups or calories’ worth of sugar, a pinch here and a pinch there. But a startup from Israel says there is a solution that's simpler for sweet tooths to count on: It's Valiber, a device that you place right into your drink.

The Valiber monitor, which resembles a swizzle stick, is placed in your drink, cocktail or pitcher of juice to get a reading on just how sweet it is. The device is built with sensors that can determine and “taste” how much dissolved sugar is in the glass.

Using a scale in units called Vals, Valiber is hoping to make a new, sweet language that is universal. Was that sangria at 12 Vals or 14? Now you’ll know.

Whether you do it yourself or it’s done by the bartender, keeping your daily limit of sugar intake is smart for your health.

The World Health Organization would probably toast to that. It recommends limiting your daily sugar intake, but recent studies on “superfruit health drinks” shows how people are exposed to high amounts of sugar without even knowing it.

Valiber could also be used by dietitians to check sugars at schools to make quick reports and recommendations.

Consumers will get the first whirl: The twirl stick is expected to be available for retail sales in April 2016 and will sell for $29. A professional version for chefs will debut 6 months later, for $99, according to the company spokeswoman.

Sugar will always be in our food and, thanks to Valiber, it may finally be easier to keep track of our intake.

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