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How Much Sugar You Should Consume Each Day For Healthy Living

Meredith Miller | Published: June 15, 2018

Spoon full of sugar

Experts agree that having a small amount of added sugar, also known as a simple carbohydrate, in our diets is perfectly safe. However, many Americans ignore the number of sweets and the types of sugar that are in their diets. Sugars hide in our food under different names, and this makes many Americans believe their consumption is lower than it actually is. As a society, Americans are consuming far more than the recommended sugar intake in a day. and it is leading to a large number of health conditions, including an added problem of craving more sweets.

Even though it does not look like we consume a lot of sweet items on a daily basis, the truth is, Americans consume 10 times more than any other food additive. Studies show that the average American consumes at least 3 pounds on a weekly basis, that equals 144 pounds per year. This does not have to be the table product we are used to seeing and can be in any form, including processed products, but it still provides the same health risks.

But why is it so hard to block sweets out of our diets? Sugar is addictive, just like a drug. Our bodies like the way it makes us feel, even if we hate the post sweets crash. Because of the way our brains respond to ingesting sweets, scientists have determined it to be just as addictive as cocaine. If that isn’t scary, I don’t know what is.

How Much Sugar Should You Have Per Day?

Do you know how many names there are there? The most common names are high fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, and dextrose. These are the names that are commonly spoken of and the names that are commonly used and advertised on televisions and magazines.

Do you know there are more than 60 names for added sugar? Try watching for that many names for added sugar on food labels. It would be impossible! Why do they use that many names for something as simple? Because the food market is the perfect place for sneaky wording.

When you are trying to determine the recommended sugar for yourself and your family, you should carefully evaluate how many natural sugars are found in your basic diet. A small amount of added sugar in your diet will not harm most people. However, when you consider all of the places manufacturers can hide it, you will realize that you should avoid refined versions as much as possible.

The American Heart Association recently weighed in on the recommended sugar intake for both men and women, and the results were surprising. Men should take in no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar per day and women should take in no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.

How Many Grams of Sugar a Day is Good for Weight Loss

According to the World Health Organization, the recommended amount of sugar per day should not equal more than 10% of total carbohydrate intake, but you will see even more health benefits, such as weight loss, if you limit your daily intake to less than 5% of your total carbohydrate intake.

So, can 5% be translated into real-world numbers? A 5% ratio of sugar per day equals approximately 25 grams of recommended sugar intake, which is about 6 teaspoons. Keep in mind this number relates to added sugars and not natural sugar.

It is a common misconception that eating simple carbohydrates causes diabetes. This is not true. Both Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes negatively affect the body’s ability to process glucose and regulate the amount of glucose in your system. The conditions may have similar causes, but they are very different conditions all-together.

Type 1 diabetes is caused by the body attacking the cells normally used to create insulin. As these cells become damaged, they are less capable of producing insulin to manage the body’s blood glucose levels. This type of diabetes is classified as an autoimmune disease.

Type 2 diabetes is a more complex disorder. While it does not have a direct link to the consumption of simple carbohydrates, it can be caused by being overweight, which is caused by ingesting too many simple carbohydrates.

A diabetic consuming more than the daily recommended sugar intake can increase the symptoms experienced and ultimately make them worse. The body has to fight harder to maintain healthy blood glucose levels, and an insulin supplement may become necessary.

A diabetic, depending on how severe their condition is, can usually ingest 20 to 25 grams of sugar per day. To put this into relation, a teaspoon spoon holds approximately 4 grams.

Natural Sugar vs. Added Sugar

Even though it isn’t great for you, a controlled diet that includes added sugar is not a serious problem. However, the FDA recently made an announcement that nutrition labels will be marked accurately with this being in full view for consumers, while natural sugar is just an assumed ingredient.

Even though we are trying to control simple carbohydrates, there is another form of simple carbohydrate called natural sugar, which is found in a number of healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables. Natural sugar is healthier for your body but should still be monitored to ensure that you are not overdoing it. Since it takes longer to digest, it is less likely to cause blood glucose spikes.