How Many Grams of Sugar per Day?

Sugar is in just about everything, including pasta sauce, breakfast cereals and almond milk. And, of course, there is sugar in the obvious things, such as ice cream, soda, and cookies. While sugar tastes great, it has been associated with a number of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Do you know most people are eating more sugar per day than they really should?

How Many Grams of Sugar per Day Are Recommended?

Firstly, you need to know that sometimes sugar is an additive to food and sometimes it occurs as a normal part of food as natural sugar. Let's look at the differences:

1.   Natural Sugar

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) doesn't have any particular recommendations as to how much sugar per day are acceptable for this type of sugar, but it does have a few guidelines regarding the amount of natural sugar sources. Natural sugar is found in vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. Here's how much you should take in them:

  • ŸFruits. When It comes to fruit, you should consume about 1.5-2 cups of fruit as part of your daily diet. A cup of whole, chopped fruits, a piece of whole fruit, or a half cup of dried fruit makes up a one cup serving of fruit. There are low sugar fruits you should eat, such as pears and blueberries. Remember that the sugar in dried fruits and fruit juices tend to be higher than you will find in fresh fruit. A cup of orange juice, for example, contains more than 20 grams of sugar, and a half cup of raisins has about 43 grams of sugar in it.
  • ŸVegetables. If you are a woman, you should eat about 2-2.5 cups of veggies per day. If you are a man, you should eat about 2.5-3.0 cups of veggies per day. The equivalent of one cup of cooked or raw veggies is 2 cups of leafy greens or about a cup of juice made from vegetables. If you want to decrease your daily use of natural sugars, stick to low sugar vegetables, such as cooked broccoli (2 g sugar) and eat less raw carrots, which contain 6 grams of natural sugar. A cup of tomato juice has almost nine grams of natural sugar, while 2 cups of leafy spinach has only about 0.3 grams of natural sugar.
  • ŸMilk & diary. When it comes to adults, you should take in about 3 cups of dairy per day. This means eating various servings of dairy, such as a cup of soy milk, a cup of milk, a cup of yogurt, 2 ounces of processed cheeses, or 1.5 ounces of natural cheese. There are various amounts of natural sugar in each item. For example, a cup of milk (2 percent) has about 12 grams of natural sugar, while a cup of fruity yogurt has about 47 grams of natural sugar. Your best bet is the cheeses, with 1.5 ounces of mozzarella cheese having a quarter gram of natural sugar and a 2 ounce serving of American cheese (processed) has about 0.16 grams of natural sugar in it.

2.   Added Sugar

How many grams of sugar per day should you have as added sugar? This isn't an easy question to answer. Some people can consume it without difficulty, while others should stay away from any kind of added sugar.

As recommended by the American Heart Association, there are limits to the amount of added sugar you should consume. These limits are as follows:

  • Men should consume 9 teaspoons or 37.5 grams maximally per day.
  • Women should consume 6 teaspoons or about 25 grams of sugar maximally per day.
  • Teens should consume about 5 to 8 teaspoons or about 20-32 g of sugar maximally per day.
  • Preschoolers should consume 4 teaspoons or about 16 grams of sugar maximally per day.
  • Kids aged 4 to 8 should consume about 3 teaspoons or about 12 g of sugar maximally per day.

While according to the World health Organization, for those who eat about 2000 calories per day, you should have about 10 percent of your total calories as added sugar. This is less than fifty grams of sugar added to your diet each day.

So after knowing how many grams of sugar per day, do you know how much sugar is in the foods we commonly take? The video below will help you get it.

How to Minimize Your Sugar Intake

Since you have known how many grams of sugar per day we need and the truth that we usually get enough and more sugar than we need, clearly you should minimize your sugar intake and here are some ways you can achieve it:

  • Select breakfast cereals made from whole grains but avoid those that have honey or added sugar on them.
  • Stay away from sweets; this includes candies and cookies.
  • Eat fresh fruits instead of canned fruits, dried fruits, or fruits juice.
  • There are a lot of fizzy drinks that are high in sugar. Instead of drinking these types of drinks, you should instead drink low fat milk, diet sodas, and water. Know that even if you eat unsweetened fruit juices, they contain sugar, so you'd better stick to less than 150 milliliters of fruit juices each day. If you do really like something fizzy, mix sparkling water with fruit juice instead of soda.
  • If you like baked goods, you should try a scone, a currant bun, or a malt loaf instead of cookies or cakes.
  • If you usually add sugar to breakfast cereal or put sugar in your coffee or tea, try to gradually lessen the amount of sugar you add to these beverages until you can tolerate drinking the beverages plain.
  • Always read the nutrition label on any type of food you eat and choose those things that have less sugar added to them. Choose the low sugar variety of the foods you eat.
  • Instead of marmalade, syrup, jam or honey on your breads or toast, instead use a low fat type of spread, low fat cream cheese, or a sliced banana on toast as these have less sugar in them.
  • Cut back on the sugar you add to recipes by half. This is great for many types of recipes, except for things like ice cream, jam, and meringue.
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