How Many Grams Of Sugar To Eat A Day

Ivan Red Jr. Author: Ivan Red Jr. Time for reading: ~6 minutes Last Updated: August 08, 2022
How Many Grams Of Sugar To Eat A Day

Sugar is all around us and we often overdo it. The important thing is to learn where it comes from and how much to take per day.

Sugar is all around us, almost no day or in other words - we have almost no chance to spend a day without consuming sugar. It is in fruits, sweets, cookies, even bread. The truth is that most people overeat with sugar nowadays and, accordingly, bear the consequences of these decisions - we often have problems with blood sugar, weight, heart.

Find out how many grams of sugar you need to maintain your optimal health and, above all, not to harm yourself.

Types of sugar - natural and added

Generally speaking, sugars are carbohydrates that are a major source of energy for the body. There are many types of sugar: fructose and glucose are simple sugars (also called monosaccharides) and are well known. Sucrose, which is table sugar, consists of equal parts of fructose and glucose. Lactose is a sugar that occurs naturally in milk and consists of equal parts glucose and galactose.

When you eat carbohydrates, the body converts them into glucose, which it uses for energy.


Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and dairy products contain natural sugars - fructose, glucose and lactose. That is, when you consume them, they already contain sugar in their composition and no other is added to them.

The sugar found in sugar cane and sugar beet is in the form of sucrose. It is processed to obtain white sugar, which is then added to various foods and beverages.

Corn syrup (HFCS) is a sugar made from corn. While sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose, corn syrup contains 55% fructose and 45% glucose and is added to many processed foods (there is almost no packaging of something sweet that does not contain corn syrup).

Honey, maple syrup and agave are natural sugars, but when added to various pastries, they are considered added sugar.

Sugar can be processed and hidden under various names, such as invert sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, molasses, rice syrup and others.

The main sources of added sugar that we have access to are sweets, soft drinks, juices, sweetened milks, ice creams, processed cereals and much more.

You are probably wondering if it makes a difference what kind of sugar you eat. In fact, there is, but the difference is minimal. When you consume sugar (fructose) coming from fruit or milk, you also take other nutrients, minerals and vitamins, which to some extent justifies the intake of sugar and stabilizes its absorption.

Although the body does not care about the source of sugar and reacts in the same way, eating an apple is less likely to be followed by the unpleasant sensations associated with a sharp rise in blood sugar.

On the other hand, the added sugar does not bring any health benefits, only a sweet taste, and the amounts are usually quite high. As already mentioned, honey and maple syrup, which are indicated as a useful food, are included in the column of added sugar, for the simple reason that they do not contain fiber or protein to create a balance in their processing. If you have replaced refined sugar with honey, agave or maple syrup, and you take them in large quantities, your body will process them in exactly the same way and you are not really doing any service to your health. The only difference in consuming them is that in this way you control the quantities than if you take a finished product with added sugar.

In general, it is more important to pay attention to the amounts of sugar you consume from various foods that you consider useful - such as energy bars, cereals, salad dressings and more. However, you should not expect that adding a tablespoon of honey to your oatmeal makes your breakfast healthy, but it is still a better choice than packaged foods.


How much sugar to eat a day?

There is no recommendation on exactly how much sugar we can eat per day , but according to the latest data, the average amount is 48 grams per day on a diet of 2000 calories.

The American Heart Association recommends much stricter restrictions - no more than 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of added sugar for women and 9 teaspoons for men (36 grams).

Even if you don't eat desserts every day, keep in mind that sugar is everywhere. If you order a latte, it contains 50 grams of added sugar. Expect the same amounts in fruit yogurts or canned juices. And so you can imperceptibly exceed your daily need for sugar.

Therefore, it is good to learn to distinguish the added sugar indicated on the labels.

Many products have the exact values ​​and the type of sugar they contain written on them. Follow their table. It is expected that over time a separate column will be introduced in which to record the amounts of added sugar, so you can calculate how much sugar you have taken.

How much sugar to consume if you want to lose weight?

If you are aiming to lose weight, you have certainly given up all waffles, candies and biscuits. But is that enough? Rather not. The problem for those who want to lose weight is that they continue to consume smoothies and juices made with 2 cups of fruit, fruit cereals - these foods have so much sugar - in one serving can reach 40, 50 and even 60 grams.

Honey, agave and coconut sugar are sugar. They all raise blood sugar and insulin secretion, and this condition causes your body to accumulate fat.

The truth is that you can't figure out how much sugar you consume per day, but the best thing you can do is eat 1 serving of whole fruit a day. And at each meal you really should not consume more than 10-15 grams of sugar if you want to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Remember that many foods contain sugars, even if they are not sweet in taste (cereals and legumes, for example).


What happens when you overdo it with sugar consumption

Our body needs sugar to produce energy, but high amounts are bad for our health. Modern man consumes nearly 70 grams of sugar per day, which is an extremely high amount.

In this way we imperceptibly increase our fat, and this leads to a number of risks such as the development of diabetes, the risk of heart disease. High intake of refined sugar is associated with metabolic syndrome, which leads to obesity, high blood sugar and dangerous cholesterol levels.

Insulin resistance is the first step to diabetes. Your body converts carbohydrates and sugars in the food you eat into glucose. Insulin is then released, which helps cells absorb sugar and use it for energy. When you eat a healthy diet, insulin secretion is even and the pancreas is easy to handle.

However, when you consume too much sugar, the pancreas produces large amounts of insulin. When it is constantly high, the body becomes less sensitive to the hormone. In other words, your cells will not use insulin to absorb glucose. Excess glucose builds up in your body.

The symptoms are:

  • fatigue;
  • brain fog;
  • hunger;
  • high blood pressure;
  • weight gain in the abdomen.

Most people are not aware that they have insulin resistance until they develop diabetes.

In fact, sugar as crystals that you add to your coffee or in the form of a waffle has nothing to do with your body's reaction to sugar. But over time, if your body is in a constant state of high blood sugar, it logically begins to suffer from it and create various metabolic problems.

However, we must not forget that sugar is the main source of energy for the body, although it is often demonized. Emphasize whole foods, such as fruits, instead of processed sugar, which has no nutritional value. Excessive sugar consumption over time increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cancer. 

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