Eating fast food and other heavily processed products can seem convenient with rising costs, but consuming high amounts of added sugar carries a significant health concern.

A healthier alternative is choosing options that have natural sugars, like fruits and whole foods, local dietitian Kendall Stagner said. But dealing with fresh foods often means a shorter shelf life, so consumers should be prepared to eat their fruits or vegetables within about a week.

Alex Simone can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @NPNOWSimone.

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