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Suggested Daily Sugar Intake?

The right Amount is Sweet as Sugar.

actually say that sugar exists as natural sugar and added sugar. Natural sugar, found in milk, fruits and vegetables is mostly in the form of glucose, lactose, fructose or sucrose. Fruits and vegetables can on their own provide you with a healthy amount of sugar per day that is in line with the recommended dietary guidelines. Not only that, but fruits and vegetables can also provide your body with a healthy dose of essential nutrients. When the sugar from these natural sources are extracted they are no long considered natural.

This brings us to the second form of sugar in our food – added sugars. Added sugar refers to the extracted sugar which is added into a variety of processed foods like carbonated drinks, juices, candies, cakes, and sweetened dairy products including ice cream, yogurt and milk. When governments and organizations discuss the recommended daily sugar intake they are in general referring to the amount of added sugars you can eat, which is often measured in grams. The most common added sugars are regular table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup

Watch out for anything with “syrup” in the nameIngredients ending in -ose (glucose, sucrose, fructose…) are typically sugars

Natural vs. Added Sugar?

Added sugars are sugars added to foods and beverages when they're processed or prepared. Consuming too much can hurt your health and even shorten your life.

The American Heart Association recommended daily limit for added sugars: Men — 9 teaspoons / 36 grams / 150 calories OR LESS Women and kids ages 2+ — 6 teaspoons / 25 grams / 100 calories OR LESS (children under 2 should not consume any added sugars)

Where to watch for added sugars:

Sugary drinks: flavored milk, sports & energy drinks, soda & soft drinks, coffee & tea, juice & fruit drinksSweetened breakfasts: breakfast & energy bars, granola & muesli, hot & cold cereals, yogurts, smoothiesSyrups and sweets: syrups, honey & molasses, jelly, jam & spreads, drink mixes, candyFrozen treats: ice cream & gelato, frozen yogurt, popsicles, sherbet & sorbet, frozen dessertsSweet baked goods: sweet rolls & breads, cakes, cookies & pies, donuts & pastries, snack foods, desserts

How to avoid them:

Always check nutrition facts label and ingredients. Limit sugary drinks and foods.Replace candy and desserts with naturally sweet fruit.Make items at home with less added sugars.

Names of sugar

What is the recommended amount?

Eating sugar-laden foods can increase your blood-sugar levels and be harmful to your overall wellness. A high-sugar diet increases your risk of tooth decay, infections, diabetes and weight gain. Additionally, a recent study found that people who regularly eat a high-sugar diet tend to experience changes in their blood, such as elevated triglycerides and decreased HDL (good cholesterol), which can increase your risk of developing heart disease.

The World Health Organization recommends consuming no more than six to 12 teaspoons of sugar daily — the amount found in just one can of soda. This new guideline also recommends watching for added sugars found in processed foods and natural sweeteners, such as honey, fruit juices and fruit concentrates.

Limit your consumption of foods with high amounts of added sugars, such as sugar-sweetened beverages. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains eight teaspoons of sugar, or 130 calories and zero nutrition.

How much is just right?

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons. The AHA recommendations focus on all added sugars, without singling out any particular types such as high-fructose corn syrup. For more detailed information and guidance on sugar intake limits, see the scientific statement(link opens in new window) in the August 2009 issue of Circulation, Journal of the American Heart Association.

There are four calories in one gram, so if a product has 15 grams of sugar per serving, that’s 60 calories just from the sugar alone, not counting the other ingredients.

To tell if a processed food contains added sugars, you need to look at the list of ingredients. Sugar has many other names. Besides those ending in “ose,” such as maltose or sucrose, other names for sugar include high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, syrup, honey or fruit juice concentrates. Learn more about reading food labels.

Consequences of Excessive Sugar Intake?

Excessive sugar intake is common. It’s been linked with various lifestyle diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease

NIH Consumption of excess sugar may also promote the development the development of CVD and T2DM indirectly by causing increased body weight and fat gain, but this is also a topic of controversy.

There are plausible mechanisms and research evidence that support the suggestion that consumption of excess sugar promotes the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) both directly and indirectly. The direct pathway involves the unregulated hepatic uptake and metabolism of fructose, which leads to liver lipid accumulation, dyslipidemia, decreased insulin sensitivity and increased uric acid levels. The epidemiological data suggest that these direct effects of fructose are pertinent to the consumption of the fructose-containing sugars, sucrose and HFCS, which are the predominant added sugars. Consumption of added sugar is associated with development and/or prevalence of fatty liver, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, hyperuricemia, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and many of these associations are independent of body weight gain or total energy intake. There are diet intervention studies in which human subjects exhibited increased circulating lipids and decreased insulin sensitivity when consuming high sugar compared with control diets.

Foods with High Amounts Sugar:











Produce: While foods grown on trees or in the ground are always going to be healthier than those found in a package, some fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of naturally occurring sugars. Fruits such as cherries, grapes, bananas and oranges, and vegetables such as beets, carrots, corn, peas and potatoes can have high amounts of sugar. Moderate your intake accordingly.

Yogurt: Protein and probiotic-rich yogurt is one of the healthiest foods available. However, some fruit-flavored varieties can contain more than four teaspoons of sugar per serving.

Beverages: Sugar-sweetened beverages such as fruit juices, sports drinks, flavored waters and teas are the biggest causes of added sugar in our diets and can contain nearly as much sugar as soda. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these drinks account for more than one-third of the added sugar Americans consume. For example, 16 ounces of a popular green-tea drink contains more than seven teaspoons of sugar.

Condiments: While salads and lean proteins may form the base of your diet, many bottled salad dressings and marinades often contain large quantities of sugar or honey. Even low-fat mayonnaise and salad dressings can contain more sugar than regular varieties.

Fruit. Most fruit has a high sugar content, but don’t eliminate fruit altogether. Instead of high-sugar fruits such as oranges and bananas, choose fruits like berries, plums, peaches and cantaloupe.

Vegetables. Vegetables are nutritious, but be mindful of carrots, potatoes and corn. Instead, choose vegetables like lettuce, spinach, cabbage or celery.

Dairy. Most dairy contains naturally occurring milk sugar (lactose). Decrease your sugar intake by choosing almond milk instead of dairy milk and Greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt.

Drink up. Most bottled juices and flavored waters contain added sugars. Instead, drink fruit-infused water or seltzer water.

The recommended daily sugar intake can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, activity level, and overall health. However, health organizations provide general guidelines to help individuals limit their sugar consumption and reduce the risk of health issues like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Here are some common recommendations for daily sugar intake:

  1. American Heart Association (AHA): The AHA suggests that for most adults, added sugars should account for no more than 100-150 calories per day, which is equivalent to about 25-38 grams (6-9 teaspoons) of added sugars. This does not include naturally occurring sugars found in whole fruits and dairy products.

  2. World Health Organization (WHO): The WHO recommends that added sugars should make up less than 10% of total daily caloric intake. For further health benefits, a reduction to below 5% of total daily calories is suggested. For an average adult with a normal body mass index (BMI), this equates to around 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of added sugars per day.

  3. Dietary Guidelines for Americans: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommend limiting added sugars to less than 10% of total daily calories. This is based on a typical daily intake of about 2,000 calories, which would be approximately 200 calories from added sugars, or about 50 grams (12 teaspoons).

It's important to note that these recommendations refer to added sugars, which are sugars and syrups that are added to foods and beverages during processing or preparation. They do not include naturally occurring sugars found in foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Naturally occurring sugars are generally considered part of a balanced diet because they come with other beneficial nutrients.

To reduce your sugar intake:

  1. Read Food Labels: Check food labels for added sugars and choose products with lower sugar content.

  2. Limit Sugary Beverages: Cut back on sugary drinks like soda, fruit juices, and energy drinks. Opt for water, unsweetened tea, or infused water instead.

  3. Choose Whole Foods: Select whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins that are naturally low in added sugars.

  4. Cook at Home: Preparing meals at home gives you control over ingredients and allows you to reduce added sugars in your dishes.

  5. Limit Desserts and Sweets: Enjoy sugary treats in moderation, and look for alternatives with less sugar or use sugar substitutes when baking.

  6. Educate Yourself: Be aware of hidden sources of added sugars in processed foods like condiments, sauces, and salad dressings.

Remember that everyone's dietary needs are different, so it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized recommendations on sugar intake based on your specific health goals and needs.

Final Thoughts:

We need sodium in our diets. As we discussed above, an insufficiency in sodium can lead to health concerns just as much as an excess can. As the saying goes, 'everything in moderation'. If you feel that you are being very health conscious with meals that you choose to make and consume, the next step may be to check the consumption of ingredient components such as the added salt.

We need sodium in our diets. As we discussed above, an insufficiency in sodium can lead to health concersn just as much as an excess can. As the saying goes, 'everything in moderation'. If you feel that you are being very health conscious with meals that you choose to make and consume, the next step may be to check the consumption of ingredient components such as the added salt.

What are some of your favorite low sodium meals/snacks?

Less salt a day, keeps the doctor away
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