Look How Easy It Is To Consume A Day’s Worth Of Sugar

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed new guidelines for sugar intake last week, the suggestion seemed pretty reasonable: Americans should only get about 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugar. That adds up to about 50 grams, or 12.5 teaspoons of daily sugar on top of what’s naturally found in the foods we eat.

Alarmingly, however, the average person may consume some 100 grams of total sugar daily, thanks in part to the continued popularity of portable and convenient “snack” foods that are usually packed with the stuff for flavoring purposes. Making matters difficult, food labels don’t differentiate between naturally occurring and added sugars.

Consider this: One serving of Chobani’s strawberry Greek yogurt contains 15 grams of sugar, nearly a third of the total daily recommended added sugar intake, and we haven’t even counted what’s in your morning coffee drink. (Not to single out Chobani. Fage, for example, fares no better.)

And that’s just yogurt, a healthful food that also offers benefits like protein and probiotics. A can of soda has a whopping 39 grams of sugar (order a large fountain soda and you’re doomed) and a standard orange chicken dish from a Chinese take-out restaurant is packed with around 88 grams. And who hasn’t dug a spoon into a jar of Nutella on a particularly stressful day?

The FDA’s new guidelines are more realistic than the stringent recommendation offered by the World Health Organization, which suggests a five percent cap on all sugars save those from produce and milk. Diets high in added sugar can contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease, and going low —> Read More