Men should consume no more than nine teaspoons while women should have a maximum of six teaspoons of sugar a day
Illustrations by Lara Intong | Lead photo by Sharon McCutcheon/Unsplash
The first thing a healthy eating habit would target is sugar intake.
Sugar is found in every packaged product. Technically, there’s sugar in fruits, too, but that’s not the kind you should worry about. Sugar in fruits or fructose has more nutrients and comes in lesser quantities per serving. The problem is added sugar. Not only does it have no nutritional value, too much of it leads to a number of serious health risks like diabetes and obesity.
So how much sugar is too much? The American Heart Association (AHA) says that it depends on gender. Women should take no more than six teaspoons a day or around 20 grams; for men, it’s nine teaspoons maximum or 36 grams. This applies to every normal person but can vary if you have a more active lifestyle.
For World Health Organization nutritionist Francesco Branca, sugar should comprise of no more than 10 percent of your daily calories. Of course, less is always better when we’re talking about added sugar because there are still healthier ways to get your fill of them.
For children, it’s a different story. Kids younger than six years old should only have no more than five teaspoons or 19 grams a day according to BBC. While giving them sweets sometimes isn’t bad, constantly giving them excessive amounts of sugar can develop health problems in the future.
The alarming thing is that AHA found that kids as young as three already eat around 12 teaspoons a day, which doubles by the time they reach the age of eight.
To give you an idea, here’s what your daily added sugar intake should look like. You can consume any of these products in these amounts, assuming you don’t eat anymore sugary products for the rest of the day.