The average American consumes a whopping 22 teaspoons, or 355 calories, of sugar every day. That’s well above new guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA). They say healthy women should not consume more than six teaspoons or 100 calories of added sugar a day, and men should limit sugar intake to nine teaspoons or 150 calories daily. A typical 12-ounce soft drink contains nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar.
AHA guidelines don’t count naturally occurring sugars in fruits, vegetables, or dairy products. The problem lies with added sweeteners. Consumers should examine food labels for added sugar, and cut back on items with honey, molasses, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, and evaporated cane juice. Remember, four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon.
Five Sugary Shockers:
1. Dried, sweetened cranberries. One-third cup packs more than six teaspoons of added sugar.
2. Ketchup. One-fourth cup has about two and a half teaspoons of extra sugar.
3. Reduced-calories French dressing. One-fourth cup contains three and a half teaspoons of additional sugar.
4. Granola bars. A one-ounce bite of some fruity bars has almost three teaspoons of added sugar.
5. Cream substitute. Two tablespoons of a “light” powder adds more than two teaspoons of sugar.
What about you? Where have you been able to reduce your sugar intake?