One of the main attractions in "The Edible Monument" exhibition at the Getty Center in Los Angeles is a nine-foot long sugar palace showing the Greek sorceress Circe meeting Odysseus' men. Abbie Fentress Swanson for NPR hide caption

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Ah, sugar — we love the sweetness, but not the calories. For more than a century, food technologists have been on a quest for the perfect, guilt-free substitute. The latest candidate, allulose, is not available to consumers in a crystal form: It is a syrup only available to manufacturers. Ryan Kellman/NPR hide caption

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Joseph Severn's portrait of Percy Bysshe Shelley. The radical 19th century poet practiced the politics of the plate. For Shelley and other liberals of his day, keeping sugar out of tea was a political statement against slavery. Joseph Severn/Wikimedia hide caption

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The average American consumes the equivalent of 19.5 teaspoons a day in added sugars, but there are no federal guidelines recommending a limit. iStockphoto hide caption

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The majority of voters in San Francisco and Berkeley, Calif., voted in favor of a soda tax, but the measure didn't gain the required two-thirds majority required in San Francisco. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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A mock-up of a warning label for sodas and sugary drinks proposed in California by public health advocates. California Center for Public Health Advocacy hide caption

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Even seemingly healthful foods can contain unexpected spoonfuls of sugar. Meg Vogel/NPR hide caption

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