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How much sugar should you have each day?

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There are things you really need to know about the health effects of too much added sugar.

  • Every day, the average American consumes almost three times more sugar than is That adds up to an average of 66 pounds of added sugar each year.
  • Growing scientific evidence shows that eating too much added sugar over time is linked to health problems, including serious diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and liver disease.
  • Drinking just one 12-oz. soda every day, or 7 sodas per week, can increase your risk of dying from heart disease by almost 1/3. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Long-term, excessive consumption of added sugar can also disrupt your body’s natural hormonal balance, creating a condition called metabolic syndrome, which is linked to many forms of chronic disease.

“Sugar belly” (excess fat around your midsection) is one possible sign that you might have metabolic syndrome.

How much is okay?

Expert panels worldwide have made consistent recommendations on daily sugar intake. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38 grams) for men.1 The AHA limits for children vary depending on their age and caloric needs, but range between 3-6 teaspoons (12 – 25 grams) per day.

That is in line with the World Health Organization‘s (WHO) recommendation that no more than 10% of an adult’s calories – and ideally less than 5% – should come from added sugar or from natural sugars in honey, syrups and fruit juice. For a 2,000-calorie diet, 5% would be 25 grams.

Yet, the average American consumes 19.5 teaspoons (82 grams) every day.2 That translates into about 66 pounds of added sugar consumed each year, per person.3

Children and teens are particularly at risk. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting total intake of discretionary calories, including both added sugars and fats, to 5% –15% per day. Yet children and adolescents in America obtain about 16% of their total caloric intake from added sugars alone

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