According to the AHA, Americans are gulping down a crazy 22 teaspoons of sugar each day.
And, I’m sure you can imagine just where it’s all coming from too–soft drinks and candy–no surprise there then!
Clearly the advice to consume sugar in moderation needs to be clarified further for people to fully grasp it.
22 teaspoons of sugar is the equivalent of 355 calories, or roughly the same as what you’d get from a donut and a can of soda.
So, what are the recommended guidelines for sugar?
- Most women should be getting no more than 6 teaspoons per day, or 100 calories of added sugar.
- Most men should be getting no more than 9 teaspoons per day, or 150 calories of added sugar.
Now, just to be clear, these guidelines do not apply to naturally occurring sugars, for example those found in dairy products, fruit and vegetables.
How much sugar are you consuming each day?
If you regularly eat cookies, cakes, candies, sweet yogurts, sugary cereals, and drink lots of soft drinks and speciality coffees, it’s time to take a serious look at your diet, and try to figure out how to reduce your sugar intake.
Alas, it seems guzzling on soft drinks is one of the biggest culprits, so here are some approximations of the sugar content of drinks:
- 375 ml can cola: 9-11 teaspoons
- 250 ml pack pure fruit juice: 4-9 teaspoons
- 300 ml bottle fruit juice and mineral water: 5-8 teaspoons
- 250 ml pack fruit juice drink: 5-9 teaspoons
- 300 ml carton chocolate flavored milk: 6-8 teaspoons
For more information, check out the USDA’s database for added sugar.
How to lower your sugar intake
- Check food labels, and use this guideline: 10g of sugar or more per 100g is a lot; 2g of sugar or less per 100g is a little.
- Reading food labels can get a little tricky – check out my article on 50 names for sugar you may not know, this will help you know what to look out for.
- To give your taste buds time to get used to the change, be practical and reduce added sugar gradually.
- Choose healthy snacks rather than cookies and cake – here are some healthy snack ideas.
Remember, this advice doesn’t equate to “never eat chocolate or drink sodas again!” but it does mean moderation. If the overall balance of your diet is generally good, it’s okay to pick your favorite sweet foods and spend those calories wisely from time to time!
Do you try to avoid too much sugar in your diet? What are your tips on how to reduce sugar?