How Much Added Sugar Is Too Much?

Too Much Sugar Written in Sugar

Added sugar does serve some amount of useful purpose. However, the Department of Health and Human Resources and the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that added sugars should be less 10% of an adult’s diet. It may be time to find out how you can eat less of these sweet substances in your foods.

Why Add Sugar to Foods

Using sugar in bread is necessary if you want it to ferment enough to make it rise. Moreover, it can neutralize the acidic taste of vinegar, tomatoes, lemons and other foods. In fact, added sugars often are one of the components of most sweat and sour sauces. The sweet substances you add to your food also work well as a jelly and preservative, ice cream or baked good bulking agent, or flavor and texture enhancer.

Added sugars have become an intricate part of most people’s diets. However, it now might be time to find out how to reduce that intake to a healthy level.

Guidelines on Added Sugar Intake

According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines set by the American Advisory Group, less than 10 percent of your calorie intake usually equals a maximum of 12 teaspoons of sugar. However, this number is likely to be much lower for you if you are diabetic or higher if you are more active.

If you are not sure how much sugar you should consume, your doctor or a nutritionist are your best resources. However, you can still make a quick calculation for now. First, you will figure what is 10 percent of your daily calorie intake as recommended to you by a health professional. Then, you will divide that 10 percent by 4. This will equal the number of grams in added sugar you can eat. Then, take that number and it by 4 again, and this will total the number of teaspoons you can eat per day.

For example, a grown woman who consumes 1600 per day would take 10 percent of 1600, which would equal 160. Then, she would device that number by 4, and that would equal 40 grams. Then, 40 divided by 4 again would equal 10 teaspoons of sugar.


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— Diane P. Heesch Nims-Smith

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