New Recommendations for Daily Sugar Consumption

How much sugar can you safely eat in a day?

The answer is probably less than you think.

Although Americans are used to eating more than 22.2 teaspoons (or 355 calories) of added sugar a day, the recommended limit is 10 teaspoons, or 100 calories a day. A new study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association (AHA) gives consumers detailed guidance on sugar consumption by recommending an upper limit on added-sugars intake.

Added sugars are sugars and syrups added to foods during processing or preparation as well as those added at the table. This does not include naturally sweet foods such as fruit.

Excessive consumption of sugars has been linked with several metabolic abnormalities and adverse health conditions, as well as with a lack of essential nutrients.

The AHA report also noted:

  • An upper limit for added sugars should be no more than half your discretionary calories.
  • Most American women should consume no more than 100 calories of added sugars per day; most men, no more than 150 calories. That’s about 6 teaspoons of added sugars a day for women and 9 for men.
  • Soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the No. 1 source of added sugars in the American diet. A 12-ounce can of regular soda contains about 130 calories and 8 teaspoons of sugar.

The AHA recommends a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, high-fiber whole grains, lean meat, poultry and fish in order to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.