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Fact Check: How Many Grams of Sugar Should You Consume Per Day?

How many grams of sugar should you consume daily? (Image via Pexels/Photo by Daria Shevtsova)
How many grams of sugar should you consume daily? (Image via Pexels/Photo by Daria Shevtsova)
Shuvangi Sen Chaudhury

There is no definitive number for the amount of sugar you should consume daily. However, it’s clear that you cannot avoid sugar altogether from your daily diet.

Nevertheless, there are different types of sugars that impact the body differently. You need to be aware of all these types before deciding how many grams of sugar you can consume every day.


Types of sugar

There are two basic types of sugar diets focus on - added sugar and natural sugar.

Natural sugar is one which is found in food items such as fruits and vegetables. It's composed of macronutrients, water and fibre. There's no issue if you consume natural sugar in your diet.

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Meanwhile, added sugar is one that is found in processed foods and is added to items such as candy, chocolate and baked products. Added sugar is something that must be controlled.

You need to ensure you do not consume too many daily calories of added sugar. That's because it is harmful to your health, and almost all health experts advise that you should avoid sugar.


How many grams of sugar should you have per day?

Usually, diet charts are based on a standard 2000-calorie diet. As per that, it’s advised that you should not consume more than 150 to 200 calories of sugar per day. That's equivalent to potentially consuming six to nine teaspoons of sugar. However, this number is from the American Heart Association.

Meanwhile, there are Dietary Guidelines that allow more leeway, increasing the number to 12 teaspoons of sugar a day. Nevertheless, it's important to keep in mind that it's for one who follows a standard 2000-calorie diet. If your daily consumption is less or more than that, you need to decrease or increase your sugar intake accordingly.

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Now, if you absolutely want to consume sugar, but it’s more than the recommended amount, you can think about alternative sweeteners.

You can decrease the grams of sugar you consume daily by replacinh sugar with alternative sweeteners, such as Splenda, Sweet ‘N’ Low and others. These do not contribute towards your daily sugar intake.

Nevertheless, it’s advised that you do not go overboard with your sugar consumption, whether it’s added sugar or alternative sweeteners.


How sugar affects your health?

The reason dietary guidelines focus on a specific amount of sugar consumption is because added sugars do not have a positive impact on your health.

Firstly, the grams of sugar you consume on a daily basis dictates your heart health. According to studies, it’s said that excessive sugar intake can lead to various heart diseases, and some of them can be fatal.

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Secondly, sugar can reduce your ability to focus on things and can also interfere with your learning process. As a result, it has a negative impact on the brain as well.

Thirdly, sugar comes with calories, which add to your daily consumption. If you consume excessive sugar, you’ll be consuming excessive calories, leading to extra calories getting stored in the body and changing your body composition.


Bottom line

It’s key you monitor how much sugar you consume daily. It’s ideal to keep it between six to nine teaspoons, but it will also depend on your diet. If you go lower than that, it’s not going to negatively affect you, as you’ll still receive natural sugars from your diet.

You can find out which items in your diet have added sugar and accordingly consume them in moderation to keep your sugar consumption in check.


Edited by Bhargav

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