The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams of sugar for men. This does not mean the sugar that naturally occurs in fruit and other whole foods. This recommendation applies to the additional sugar that the manufacturers add. A teaspoon of sugar is approximately 4 grams so that means that women should have no more than 6 ½ teaspoons of additional sugar and men should have no more than 9 teaspoons. Sounds like an easy goal, or is it? I added up the amount of extra sugar I take in on a daily basis and was surprised to see that I exceeded the limit. Here is what I found:
|2 pieces of Dave’s Killer bread (70 calories/slice)||4 grams|
|1 TB of Skippy All Natural peanut butter||3 grams|
|2 TB of Paul Newman Lite Raspberry Walnut Salad dressing||5 grams|
|2 Back to Nature Organic Peanut butter cookies||8 grams|
|1 Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt Kind bar||5 grams|
|1 Wheat Hamburger Roll||4 grams|
|1 TB of Ketchup||4 grams|
|1 Yasso Mint Choclate Chip Greek yogurt bar||13 grams|
I was shocked to note that this added up to a whopping 41 grams of added sugar! And don’t be fooled by protein bars that say low sugar. They may have only 3 grams of sugar like Detour lower sugar bars, but they may also have as much as an additional 12 grams of sugar alcohol making a total of 15 grams of added sugar.
So, what are the dangers of too much added sugar? Why do I need to cut back? According to a special on “60 Minutes” describing the work of Dr. Robert Lustig, the dangers are many including: increased risk for heart disease, many cancers, and Type 2 diabetes.
Here are a few substitutions that I can make and I bet you can too, to keep my added sugar at the recommended 25 grams per day.
Substitute: all natural peanut butter from the health food store without added sugar for the Skippy All Natural peanut butter; saving 3 grams.
Substitute: an apple and 14 almonds for the Kind bar, saving 4 grams.
Buy no sugar added ketchup saving 4 grams.
Substitute: a cup of fresh strawberries for the Yasso Greek Yogurt bar saving 13 grams.
I just saved 20 grams of added sugar and am back down to 21 grams which is 4 grams below the recommended 25 grams. What changes can you make to reduce your sugar intake and improve your health?