Sugars are found naturally in many foods, like fruits and vegetables. However, most sugar consumed daily is added to processed foods during manufacturing or at restaurants. One of my biggest concerns is that Americans are eating too much sugar.
The average American consumes around 77 grams of sugar daily – about 19 teaspoons.
The USDA collected this number and averages 200 calories from sugar daily. That’s 10% of the total daily calorie intake for most adults, and while it may seem small, it can become a problem over time if you aren’t conscious about how much-processed food you’re eating.
Also, sugar consumption goes to approximately 57 pounds each year—a whopping amount that would take a long time to burn off.
How Much Of Sugar Is Too Much?
There’s more than one reason to reduce your sugar intake. If you have diabetes or prediabetes, consuming too much sugar can increase your risk of developing heart disease and make managing your condition harder.
That said, some people need a little extra help cutting back on their sugar intake—the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 100 calories per day for women and 150 calories per day for men. This equals six teaspoons and nine teaspoons for women and men, respectively. You can also check for hidden sources of added sugars in foods like ketchup, salad dressing, and bread.
How Does The Body React To Excess Sugar?
The body reacts to excess sugar by releasing a hormone called insulin. This hormone is responsible for helping the body store energy. So when you consume more sugar than it can store (a phenomenon known as “insulin resistance”), your body will keep producing insulin until it can store all of that extra energy.
When you eat a lot of sugar—or any food high in carbohydrates—your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream so that those carbs can be stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver. If you eat too much food with many carbs at once, there won’t be enough space for all those glycogen molecules in your muscles or liver. And this could lead to inflammation and a drop in your blood sugar levels. The best way to avoid this is to spread out the carbohydrates you eat throughout the day rather than eating them all at once. And if you do have too many carbs at once, it’s probably best to skip dessert.
What Are The Source Of Sugar You Take?
There are many sources of sugar in our diets, and it’s important to be aware of each one. Sugar can be found in foods you might not expect, such as milk and juices. It’s also common for sugars to be added during manufacturing or after the product has been packaged.
Sugar is often added to condiments, sauces, and processed foods like cereals or soups to taste better. In some cases, these added sugars may not be listed on the nutrition label unless they’re present in large amounts (more than 1 gram per serving). That means that if you’re trying to eat a healthy diet but want your favorite condiments now and then—and don’t want them all over your plate!—you’ll need to check the ingredients list for anything containing “sugar” before buying it at the store.
However, the top category of sugar is beverages. Here is a break down;
- Soft drinks; contain 25% of added sugar in the American diet.
- Fruit juices; contain 11% of added sugar in the American diet.
- Energy drinks; contain 3% of added sugar in the American diet.
- Tea and coffee with milk or cream; contain 7% of added sugar in the American diet.
- Sweet and snacks; have the highest percentage with 31%.
American Heart Association Sugar Recommendation (Men)
The American Heart Association recommends that men limit their added sugar to nine teaspoons daily. A 12 oz regular soda contains about 8 grams of sugar. That’s almost the exact recommended amount for an entire day.
So, if you drink a regular soda more than once daily, you will consume more sugar than the American Heart Association recommends. If you’re looking for ways to reduce your added sugar intake, try swapping sweetened beverages with water.
American Heart Association Sugar Recommendation (Women)
To stay within the American Heart Association’s recommended sugar intake, a woman should eat no more than 100 calories daily from sugar. This is around six teaspoons of sugar or around 25 grams of sugar. In addition, the American Heart Association recommends that women get no more than 20 to 25 grams of added sugar per day. That means if you eat a healthy diet and drink water instead of soda, you shouldn’t have any problem staying within this recommended amount.
If you’re an average American, you’re eating more sugar than you think. It’s not just in the obvious sweets like cookies and candy; it’s also hidden in yogurt and fruit juice. If you’re an average American, you probably consume more sugar than you realize.
The American Heart Association found that men who consumed more than 25 grams of added sugar per day were twice as likely to die from heart disease than those who consumed less than 10 grams per day. They also found that women who consumed more than 25 grams of added sugar had a higher risk for stroke than their peers who ate less than 10 grams daily.
So, the next time you look at a food label and wonder how much sugar is in it, remember that the average American consumes 77 grams daily. That means you could have almost three times or half as much, depending on whether you fit into the male or female category.
If you’re unsure how much sugar is in a food, there are several ways to find out. First, look at the Nutrition Facts label on the package and check for added sugars. If there are any listed, you can use this information to determine how much-added sugar your food contains.