The latest guidelines for Americans, recommends limiting added sugars to 10% of calories. For an average adult who needs 1800-2200 calories, this is 11-14 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Keep in mind, that “added sugar” does not apply to foods high in natural sugar such as milk, yogurt, bread, unsweetened cereal, rice, beans, all vegetables and unsweetened fruit. Added sugars. or “empty calories” which have no nutritional value contributes to extra calories and extra weight which can put us at risk for diabetes and heart disease. A 12 ounce can of soda has 9-12 teaspoons of sugar.
We consume about half of our calories from added sugars from sodas, juice drinks, flavored coffees and teas and pastries and candies. Here are some practical recommendations to begin reducing your sugar intake: Drink water in place of sugary drinks. Don’t like plain water? Add some flavor, by putting a few cucumber slices, lemon slices or a few strawberries in your water. Buy a “fun size” or regular candy bar instead of the large bar or the entire package of candy. At the office or at home, keep fresh fruit or natural fruit cups, baby carrots, prepackaged natural peanuts, and single serving raisins in your desk drawer or on the counter at home. Craving ice cream? Go out to purchase one cone or better yet, buy your ice cream in a cup.
A healthy diet consists of a variety of protein, fats and carbohydrates for essential nutrients to fuel our bodies. This will help keep your calories in a reasonable range to manage your weight. The Dietary guidelines were developed by the Department of Health and Human Services and USDA health and nutrition experts after reviewing scientific information.