On average, Americans are consuming about 57 pounds of added sugar every year.
If that doesn't disturb you, we've got a problem. Because we have to stop consuming so much added sugar! There's a reason why people are going on "sugar detox diets" and Whole 30 diets. It's addicting, and you should know just how much is enough.
Two Types of Sugar
There are two types of sugar: naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. As you can probably guess, naturally occurring sugar is found in foods like fruits (fructose) and milk (lactose). Added sugar is commonly in our food as regular table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup (a mix of fructose and glucose).
Do The Math
The average American consumes 17 teaspoons (71.14 grams) every day. That translates into about 57 pounds of added sugar consumed each year, per person.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the following guidelines:
- 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day = 100 calories per day for women
- 9 teaspoons (38 grams) of added sugar per day = 150 calories per day for men
- 3-6 teaspoons (12 - 25 grams) per day = 50-100 calories per day for children
One 12-oz can of Coke contains 140 calories from sugar.
One regular-sized Snickers bar contains 120 calories from sugar.
Reduce Your Consumption
Avoid the following foods as much as possible:
- Soft drinks: Whether you call it soda or pop, soft drinks alone often contain your total daily intake of added sugar.
- Fruit juices: Did you know fruit juices can have as much sugar as soft drinks? Make your own smoothies instead!
- Candies, Sweets: Candies and sweets obviously offer no nutritional value.
- Baked goods: Cookies, cakes, and pies are usually high in sugar and refined carbohydrates that make you crave them even more.
- Fruits canned in syrup: Eat whole fruits and vegetables instead.
- Low-fat, diet foods: These "low-fat" or "diet" foods make up the loss of fat with higher amounts of added sugar.