Time to Get Real About Sugar

Increased Sugar Consumption in Americans

Increased Sugar Consumption in Americans With some foods, sugar occurs naturally, such as in fruit and milk… with other foods, sugar or syrup is added during processing or preparation. Can you guess how much of this added sugar the average American consumes per day? Answer: 355 calories’ worth — or more than 22 teaspoons! There’s nothing sweet about the potentially dangerous consequences of so much sugar, which include an increased risk for high blood pressure, high triglycerides, obesity, metabolic abnormalities and other heart attack and stroke risk factors.

A good guideline: The American Heart Association recently issued new guidelines advising women to consume no more than 100 calories’ worth of added sugar per day. This equals about six teaspoons (or 25 grams if you’re looking at food labels) — roughly the amount in two-thirds of a can of nondiet soda or half of a large cookie.

Source: Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., RD, is associate provost and professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont in Burlington, and lead author of a scientific statement from the American Heart Association.