The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and no more than 9 teaspoons per day for men.  That’s 25 grams and 38 grams respectively.  The World Health Organization considers added sugars to include dextrose, glucose and fructose, table sugar, and sugar present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates.  Sugar that occurs naturally in whole fruit is not considered “added sugar”, and therefore doesn’t count toward the recommended sugar limitations.

It Adds Up Quickly

Considering that a typical 12-ounce soda or other sugar-sweetened beverage contains 10 - 11 teaspoons of added sugar, or about 44 grams of sugar, it’s easy to see how quickly sugar adds up and calories from sugar provide nothing in terms of nutrition – no vitamins, no minerals, no fiber – just calories.

What to do

If you are trying to reduce the amount of added sugar you take in, it can be done with a few changes. Consider these suggestions:

1. Drink more water.

Instead of grabbing that sugary drink, reach for water instead. Try flavoring your water naturally with fresh fruit such as lemon or lime. Create your own infused water flavors easily with these simple infused water recipes.

2. When choosing packaged foods, look for naturally sweetened items.

Processed and packaged foods, such as cereals and breakfast/snack bars are part of life for many of us. Look for items that have as little sugar as possible.  At just 2-3 grams of sugar per serving, NuGo Slim is an excellent alternative to many other sugar-laden bars, with its naturally-occurring sweetness coming from real dark chocolate and chicory root fiber.

3. Watch out for hidden sugars!

Sugar has many names and faces, so be sure to look at the ingredients list on the foods you eat and choose accordingly.  Sugar shows up as high fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, molasses, evaporated cane juice, sucrose, dextrose, maltose, fructose and more.  And don’t be fooled by healthy-sounding sweeteners such as honey, brown rice syrup, fruit juice concentrates, raw sugar and agave nectar - it’s still sugar.

4. Watch out for sugar alcohols!

Beware of low sugar or sugar-free snacks that contain sugar alcohols, which can cause gastric distress and spike your blood sugar. For a smart choice for a low sugar protein bar with no artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols, choose NuGo Slim with a very low glycemic index of 24-29 or NuGo Egg White Protein bars with no added sugar.

 

References:

Circulation; Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health; R. Johnson, et al; 2009