Dietary Guidelines Set Limits on Added Sugar


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Sugar has carried a slightly unpopular reputation for a while. In fact, the Department of Health and Human Resources alongside the Department of Agriculture have recommended that individuals should restrict overall consumption to under 10 percent of their daily caloric intake. 

In previous years, sugar was still considered a sustainable substance to consume. Previous HHS/USDA Dietary Guidelines suggested cutting back on added sugars without instating daily limits. Now, however, the established daily percentage may be revealing of deeper “sugar difficulties.” The 2015 to 2020 dietary guideline proposed might still fall short of scientific statements issued by the American Heart Association, but they’re certainly increasing to accommodate for daily caloric consumption where added sugars are considered.

Sources of Natural Sugar 

With an increase of about five percent, daily sugar consumption tells quite a lot about unprocessed food. Many health experts believe this naturally occurring sugar is ideal for healthy diet consumption. Fructose, derived from fruits, is but one of these sugars. Grains, vegetables and other foods are also naturally occurring sources of sugar.

While both natural and added sugars form simple carbohydrates, sugar derived from real foods contains complex carbohydrates, too. These carbohydrates retain important nutrients, like dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins. Your body needs these nutrients to function correctly. 

Added Sugar’s Role in a Modern Diet 

It’s popular to add sugar to processed food, but many people don’t realize how much sugar they consume. According to Mayo Clinic, sweetness is universally loved in food products. It makes food more appetizing. Sugar, itself, benefits food production in several other ways, including:

  • Bread fermentation
  • Acidity balance in vinegar or tomato-centric foods
  • Adds texture, color and flavor
  • Preservation of jams and jellies
  • Works as a bulking agent in baked goods and ice cream 

Managing Your Sugar Intake

If you’re dieting, you should understand that average Americans consume about 350 calories daily from 22 teaspoons of food-added sugar. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, you should limit your sugar intake. Added sugar doesn’t offer any health benefits. Whenever possible, restrict your sugar intake to naturally occurring sugars.

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