How sweet are you?

How Sweet are You?

The latest research from the National Center for Health Statistics show that a shocking 13% of adults’ daily calories come from added sugars (processed and prepared sugars versus naturally occurring sugars found in foods like apples or milk). The research shows that men consume about 335 calories a day from added sugars while women consume about 239 calories. The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 150 calories daily from added sugars (about 9 teaspoons) andwomen no more than 100 calories a day (about 6 teaspoons). Children shouldn’t consume more than 3-4 teaspoons daily depending on their age.

Fact: A study done by the American Heart Association found children as young as 1-3 years of age consume 12 teaspoons of sugar daily and by the time they reach 4-8 years of age, their sugar consumption reaches anaverage of 21 teaspoons a day!

Calories from added sugar per serving:

Carbonated Soda, 12 oz. can


Canned peaches in heavy syrup, 1 cup


Jelly beans, 10 large


Non-fat fruit yogurt, 6 oz. container


Chocolate puff cereal, 1 cup


Vanilla ice cream, 1/2 cup


Pancake syrup, 1 tbsp.



Where are your added sugars coming from? Is it a grande latte with two pumps of hazelnut syrup?  Did you have a piece of cake or a cookie with your lunch? Was it in your salad dressing?

Here’s your challenge for the week: Pay attention to what you are eating by keeping a food log and track the number of added sugars you are eating on a daily basis. Ask questions about the menu if you are eating out or read the nutrition labels on packaged food. And then consider how you can reduce your added sugar intake.

References: American Heart Association, 2013.

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