Short Answer- Probably less than you’re eating right now. In some cases, significantly less.

Most health experts agree that a little bit of added sugar won’t hurt you. Trouble is, we are eating a LOT more than a little bit. Americans consume, on average, nearly 66 pounds of added sugar per year. 66 pounds!  This can lead to a host of health issues including metabolic syndrome, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes (to name a few). Plus, it’s easy to get caught in a nasty sugar cycle…the more you eat, the more sugar you crave.  

How Much Sugar Should We Be Eating?  

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons (38) grams for men. For children, the AHA limits vary depending on age and caloric need, but the range is between 3-6 teaspoons (or 12-25 grams) a day.

To put that into perspective, there are as many as 11 teaspoons (46.2 grams) of added sugar in just ONE 12 oz. soda (the equivalent of 1 orange, 16 strawberries, and 2 plums). That is almost double most people’s daily sugar allowance! Added sugar is so pervasive in our food supply, it’s often hiding in places you wouldn’t think to look. Yogurt, for example, can have up to 7 teaspoons (29 grams) of sugar in a serving, most of it added. Breakfast cereal, bread, granola/energy bars, and canned sauces are often high in added sugar as well.  

What’s A Concerned Mom To Do?  

Read labels! Know how many grams of sugar there are in a product you’re considering, and note the serving size. Many times the serving size on the label is so small, you’d actually be consuming two servings – so you need to double the total sugar grams to get an accurate picture. Also, stick to unprocessed foods as much as possible to avoid added sugars all together.