Did you catch our last blog where we shared that The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons or 25g of sugar daily, while men limit sugar intake to no more than 9 teaspoons or 36g of sugar? Well, it’s true! And that amount of sugar can add up VERY quickly. Today, I wanted to show you just how easy it is to get in 25g of added sugar daily and what that actually means.
First, what is “added” sugar? Added sugar means that sugar, in any form, was added to a product.
Easy examples are cookies and brownies sweetened with sugar, pouring maple syrup on your pancakes, drinking a soda made with high fructose corn syrup. All of those are considered added sugar.
The more tricky examples are things that we think are supposed to be healthy for us, like strawberry or vanilla yogurt which have naturally occuring milk sugars, but also added sugars and natural flavors. Granola is another one that is supposed to be healthy, but is usually loaded with sugar and no matter if it comes from organic cane sugar, coconut sugar, or honey, it is still added sugar.
The only food that contains sugar and is not considered added sugar is fruit and fresh pressed fruit juice, no sugar added of course. According to The AHA, these do not count towards your daily sugar limitations.
So how easy is it to add up to 25 or 36g of sugar? I’m glad you asked!
- 12oz. Coca-Cola (or really any soda for that matter) = 36g sugar
- 1 C Total Raisin Bran = 19g sugar
- ½ C Quaker 100% Natural Granola Oats & Honey = 12g sugar
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup = 12g sugar
- 1 C Apple Juice, no added sugars = 24g sugar
- 1 Apple, 3” in diameter = 19g sugar
- 1 C Vanilla Greek Yogurt = 25g sugar
- 1 Grande Starbucks Caramel Frappucino w/ non-fat milk and no whip = 45g sugar
- 2 tbsp most salad dressings = 5-10g sugar
- 1 tbsp ketchup = 4g sugar
Choose any two items on the list above and you are already at or over your limit for the day. Pretty crazy, right? Now, we did include some fruit and fruit juice above too, which are not included in the added sugars category, but we wanted to show you that some fruit does still contain a high amount of sugar and that should still be taken into consideration. Just because there is no limit by The AHA doesn’t mean you should eat 6 servings of fruit a day! Fruits’ saving grace is that in addition to the sugar, it also contains many cancer and disease fighting compounds called Phytonutrients. Some fruit also contains enough fiber to lower the Glycemic Index of that fruit, help keep your bowels regular, and aid in reducing excess cholesterol.
None of this changes the amount of sugar in fruit, so depending on your goals and how active you are we still recommend minimizing fruit to 2-4 servings daily.
Still, the average American consumes 17-23 teaspoons of sugar on a daily basis; that’s 68 – 92g of sugar daily and over 51lbs. of sugar EACH YEAR!!! BY ONE PERSON!
Think we’re crazy?
Start tracking every single gram of sugar you consume in a day, no matter where it comes from and then total up each day. Do that for a week and then estimate if you were to continue to eat like that for a whole year what your yearly sugar intake would look like.
If you are surprised at the amount of sugar you’re consuming daily, I encourage you to join us for our ECHF 30 Day Wellness Challenge!
- We will teach you how to read labels so you can reduce sugar for good.
- You’ll get 4 weeks of meal plans and recipes to help you cook delicious and easy meals without all the sugar.
- Cost is $149 for members and $179 for non-members
- We start on January 4th with a Kickoff meeting at 6pm and the last day to register for the Challenge is Thursday, January 10th.
If you have any questions, email Jamie@echealthandfitness.com