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by Hovy

How much sugar is safe for adults to consume daily?


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Joanne Perez, MS, RDN, LD

There is really no set answer for this question. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 10 percent of daily calorie needs. That's about 12 teaspoons (48 grams of added sugar) on a 2,000-calorie diet.If you are a relatively active person, this is a reasonable and realistic amount. The American Health Associations suggests an added-sugar limit of no more than 100 calories per day (about 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of sugar) for most women and no more than 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar) for most men. This is a little unrealistic given that 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon.

It's important to remember that these guidelines are for added sugars, not sugars that occur naturally in many foods such as fruits and vegetables and dairy products. And that every body is different. Some people need and are able to tolerate more added sugar without any effects. Rather than focusing on grams and teaspoons, focus on increasing your consumption of whole foods and not trying to eliminate all sugars. Having a balanced diet that has variety and includes all foods is the best approach.


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