There’s one question I get asked a LOT: How much sugar can I have per day? Or, let me be clear… the kind of person who asks this question is maaaybe eating a lot of sugar, secretly hoping it’s fiiine, and just sort of casually asking, um, is there a limit…?
So, I’ll keep this super simple.
The American Heart Association (translation: they know what they’re talking about) says that your maximum sugar intake per day should be:
FOR WOMEN = 6 teaspoons = 24 grams of sugar
FOR MEN = 9 teaspoons = 36 grams of sugar
Mmhmm. Are you wondering how you’re doing with your daily sugar intake?
Most people don’t truly process the reality of this limit because grams of sugar are not written all over your food – or they’re written in small fine print. And who reads that?!
But IF you’re like most Americans, here’s a sampling of stuff you like to drink everyday:
Yes, you’re reading correctly. One 12 oz can of soda (on average) = 9 teaspoons of sugar. That means that every day that you drink soda, you’re already at or over your maximum daily intake.
One doughnut is half that amount of sugar.
(If you think you’re safe by drinking diet, artificial sweeteners are much, much worse than sugar because they wreck your hormone levels and cause obesity and cancer.)
And do you know how much sugar is in your favorite Starbucks drink? If not, you should ask.
So if you go over your sugar limit with just one drink a day, then what about all the food you eat – and the sugar from that?
Let’s assume you eat super healthy all the time. All carbohydrates break down into sugar. And please don’t tell me any baloney shamoney about how you don’t eat carbs. You’d be eating (good) carbs if you care about your health.
The ultimate question is not whether you’re exceeding the recommended daily sugar limit – the question is what happens when you do, and when you do on a fairly regular basis?
The answer is so simple: more sugar consumed = higher blood sugar = your body stores the excess sugar as fat = your body also makes more cholesterol = diabetes + obesity + heart disease.
If I could pick one thing you could do to prevent disease, I would pick sugar = consuming less of it.
Why? Because the two most common diseases so many people face around the world = diabetes and heart disease. And excess sugar is the #1 cause of both.
So try this little experiment. Part 1: For one week, don’t change anything about what you eat, and write down how many grams of sugar you consume. One of the best ways to change anything is to first know the truth.
PS: one teaspoon of sugar = 4 grams of sugar. And, all sugars are created equal.
Part 2: Please write me in the comments below and share either (1) your shock at how much sugar you eat and how you’re newly inspired you to rethink your daily sugar or (2) you really just want to write me about your favorite donuts.