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What you should know about Sugar


Most people these days eat far too much added sugar in their diet. By limiting the amount of added sugars in your diet, you can cut calories without compromising nutrition. In fact, cutting back on foods with added sugars may make it easier to get the nutrients you need without exceeding your calorie goal.

According to the Mayo Clinic, ”Added sugars" are the sugars and syrups added to foods during processing. Desserts, sodas, and energy and sports drinks are the top sources of added sugars for most Americans, but many other foods contain added sugars.

Where to watch for added sugars, according to the American Heart Association:

Sugary drinks:

  • Flavored milk

  • Sports & energy drinks

  • Soda & soft drinks

  • Coffee sweeteners & creamers

  • Tea

  • Juice & fruit drinks

Sweetened breakfasts:

  • Breakfast & energy bars

  • Granola & muesli

  • Hot & cold cereals

  • Yogurts

  • Smoothies

Syrups and sweets:

  • Syrups

  • Honey & molasses

  • Jelly & jam spreads

  • Drink mixes

  • Candy

Frozen treats:

  • Ice cream & gelato

  • Frozen yogurt

  • Popsicles

  • Sherbet & sorbet

  • Frozen desserts

Sweet baked goods:

  • Sweet rolls & breads

  • Cakes

  • Cookies & pies

  • Donuts & pastries

  • Snack foods

  • Desserts

Sugar goes by many different names:

Check for ingredients ending in "ose" — that's the chemical name for many types of sugar, such as fructose, glucose, maltose and dextrose. Here's a list of other common types of added sugars:

  • Cane juice and cane syrup

  • Corn sweeteners and high-fructose corn syrup

  • Fruit juice concentrate and nectars

  • Honey

  • Malt or maple syrup

  • Molasses

How to avoid them:

  • Always check nutrition facts label and ingredients.

  • Limit sugary drinks and foods.

  • Replace candy and desserts with naturally sweet fruit.

  • Make items at home with less added sugars.

The American Heart Association recommended daily limit for added sugars:


  • 9 teaspoons / 36 grams / 150 calories OR LESS

Women and kids ages 2+:

  • 6 teaspoons / 25 grams / 100 calories OR LESS

Children under 2:

  • Should not consume any added sugars

REFERENCES: heart.org AND mayoclinic.org

Author: Erin Simpson

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