Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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How Much Sugar Do You Eat?

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I was reading a very interesting study in this month's issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association the other day. The study was on sugar consumption and looked at different populations in the US and compared on average how much sugar they ate.

The first statistic that shocked me was that the average intake of added sugar is 17% of our daily calories per day. This is added sugar, meaning it doesn't count the sugar found naturally in fruit and milk, but rather just the sugars added to the foods we consume. 17% of our calories?!?!? That is a lot, in my opinion. It is not a secret that I have a sweet tooth especially when it comes to chocolate, but the sweets do not add up to almost 20% of my calories for the day!

The study broke down race/ethnicity, education, and income to see how these factors influenced how much sugar they ate. Check out some of the findings:
  • As education level and family income increased, sugar intake was lower
  • Asian Americans then Hispanics had the lowest intakes
  • Black men were highest among men

Trying to identify added sugars? Look for these terms:
  • brown sugar
  • corn sweetener
  • corn syrup
  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • fruit juice concentrates
  • glucose
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • lactose
  • maltose
  • malt syrup
  • molasses
  • raw sugar
  • sucrose
  • sugar
  • syrup
Common foods with added sugars:
  • regular soft drinks
  • candy
  • cakes
  • cookies
  • pies
  • fruit drinks, such as fruitades and fruit punch
  • milk-based desserts and products, such as ice cream, sweetened yogurt and sweetened milk
  • grain products such as sweet rolls and cinnamon toast
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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