Added sugars are one of the things you should watch for when you’re trying to improve your diet. Added sugar in your diet doesn’t add nutrients, but it does add a lot of empty calories, and it can lead to weight gain, obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, and more.
So, how much added sugar is okay to include in your diet? For a woman, the maximum amount of added sugar you should have in a single day is 25 grams, which is an eighth of a cup. For a man, you should try to keep your added sugars to less than 36 grams per day, which is less than a fourth cup.
Natural and Added Sugars
Looking at a nutrition label can be scary. Sugar is in everything. But if you’re cutting down on your sugar intake, don’t make the mistake of cutting out natural sugars. Some sugars occur naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables, and even milk. Added sugars, on the other hand, are added to food in the form of table sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. Added sugars don’t add any positive benefits to your diet, while naturally occurring sugars are often found in foods that give you the health benefits of fiber, water, and nutrients.
Added Sugars and Beverages
Most common beverages you can drink contain added sugars. A lot of people say, “Well, what about juice? That has sugar.” But the sugars in most fruit juices are naturally occurring sugars. A beverage like 100% orange juice actually has zero grams of added sugar. The same is true with milk. The trouble is that most other packaged beverages contain added sugars. In fact, some contain a LOT of added sugars. Beverages like soda or sports drinks can contain more added sugar in one drink than a woman should consume in an entire day. If you drink your maximum amount of added sugars, it doesn’t leave any room in your daily allotment for anything extra like dessert.