How Much Sugar Is Good for Your Health
Today most people know that too much sugar is bad for health. But how much is too much? Read this article to learn more about the recommended intake of sugar and the ways to identify its amount in foods and drinks.
What is sugar? There are two types:
- Naturally occurring sugars – naturally found in milk and fruits
- Free sugars – found in honey, fruit juices and concentrates, used as an additive in foods and drinks
How much sugar should one consume? The main facts about a daily sugar intake are:
- According to the Government’s guidelines, the daily amount of both types of sugar should be maximum 90g for adults
- Concerning free sugars, it is highly recommended to consume no more than 5-6% of the total calorie intake per day. It means about 19g (5 teaspoons) for children from 4 to 6 years old, 24g (6 teaspoons) for those aged 7 to 10 and 30g (7 teaspoons) for individuals older than 11
- Quick fact: 330ml of soda contains 35g of free sugar, which equals to 9 teaspoons
How much sugar is added to foods and drinks?
Manufacturers use sugar in a number of foods and drinks to improve their taste. And it’s not only sweet products, such as biscuits, cakes and soda, but also cereal, bread, or baked beans. You need to study the ingredient list to know how much sugar is in the product you’re going to eat. Pay attention to:
- Names of free sugars: corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, glucose, agave nectar, molasses, and honey
- The pack: pay attention to the nutritional information
- The labels: if the manufacturer uses a traffic light labeling on the package, choose the products marked with green or amber color and avoid red labels.
How does sugar affect one’s health? Eating too much sugar can lead to such issues as:
- Weight gain due to eating empty (non-nutrient) calories
- Decreased energy
- Craving for and addiction to sugar
- Tooth decay
- Type-2 diabetes
Following a healthy diet is all about balance. You can certainly enjoy sweet foods, but do this only occasionally. And stick to a highly nutritious and healthy diet every day.