Americans Consume Too Much Added Sugars* Which Can Put Their Health At Risk
3 in 5 Americans aged 2 years and older exceed the recommendation to consume less than 10% of their total daily calories from added sugars on a given day.
24% from sugary drinks .
24% from sugary drinks .
11% from coffee and tea .
11% from coffee and tea .
For a person consuming 2,000 calories a day, one soda contains nearly the maximum amount of added sugar that should be consumed in a day.
19% from desserts and sweet snacks.
19% from desserts and sweet snacks.
9% from candy and sugars.
9% from candy and sugars.
7% from breakfast cereals and bars.
7% from breakfast cereals and bars.
Search For Each Food Item
Edit Select Source for Standard Reference, and enter the name of a food item into Enter one or more terms**.
Find the food item description that best fits your food. For fresh fruits and vegetables, often the term includes , raw. Click on that food item.
Search for each food item – or – Skip this Step with Intake
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
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What Wholesome Users Are Saying
“I wanted an app that wasn’t for dieting but simply telling me if I was getting enough protein and vitamins. This app is exactly that.”- Mobejo
“It sure does make you conscious of what you eat, as a food diary would, but no nagging about diet, lose weight, etc, which is a problem with other apps. As with most Americans, I’m usually too high in sodium, sometimes protein which was a surprise, not enough fruit, vegetables. The benefits convince you how great they are for you, so it motivates you to try to eat more of the good things!” – Jetta375
“I AM LOVING IT SO FAR!!! By far the best nutrition tracker I’ve found yet” – Jessmud
“You can set your own sugar goal and see at which rate you are reaching it with every meal Anyway, great app! 5 stars!” – UpInTheSky
“Great app to really break down what you eat instead of just filling in calorie Count. This app will take the mystery Out of eating right and whether or not You need supplements. I’m a vegetarian And often I’m often asked if I get all I Need? Turns out yes! I get enough Iron, protein and calcium that is Commonly thought of as lacking in A vegan or vegetarian diet. Good to show your doctor” – Deepti
AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME APP that has made my life so much easier…tracking my nutrition is absolutely imperative to my survival from cancer. I am also challenged with malabsorption syndrome and this application helps me make sure I’m getting all my nutrition in a balanced way. THANKS A MILLION! – Plum Lotusbud
Is All Sugar Bad
While sugar is sugar in terms of how it’s used by our body at a cellular level, the source of the sugar makes a huge difference to the way sugar is initially metabolised by our body, and the overall effect on our health. Sugar that is added to foods such as cakes, chocolate or sugar sweetened drinks is very easily digested and quickly absorbed into our blood stream. The result is a sharp rise in blood sugar levels, which is then met by a corresponding insulin spike to help bring sugar levels down. This is what can sometimes result in a blood sugar crash later in the day leading to sugar cravings. Sugars in these types of foods are also instantly released when we chew our food, which can have a detrimental effect on dental health.
Conversely, sugars which are naturally found in fruits and vegetables are handled differently by our body initially. These sugars are contained within the cells of the food, meaning we often digest and absorb them more slowly. Fruits and veggies also provide water, fibre, vitamins and minerals which are important for our body to stay healthy, which is why these types of food are so vital for a healthy diet. Unlike sugary drinks which only provide ’empty’ calories, meaning they offer no nutritional benefit to us.
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How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
How Are Carbs Measured
Carbs are measured in grams. On packaged foods, you can find total carb grams on the Nutrition Facts label. You can also check this list or use a carb-counting app to find grams of carbs in foods and drinks.
For diabetes meal planning, 1 carb serving is about 15 grams of carbs. This isnt always the same as what you think of as a serving of food. For example, most people would count a small baked potato as 1 serving. However, at about 30 grams of carbs, it counts as 2 carb servings.
Try to eat about the same amount of carbs at each meal to keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day .
This sample menu has about 1,800 calories, 200 grams of carbs, and about 13 carb servings.
Breakfast½ cup rolled oats 1 cup low-fat milk 2/3 medium banana ¼ cup chopped walnuts Total carbs: 65 grams, about 4 carb servings
Lunch2 slices whole wheat bread 4 oz. low-sodium turkey meat 1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese ½ large tomato 1 TBS yellow mustard ¼ cup shredded lettuce 8 baby carrots 6 oz. plain fat-free Greek yogurt ¾ cup blueberries Total carbs: 59 grams, about 4 carb servings
Dinner6 ounces baked chicken breast 1 cup brown rice 1 cup steamed broccoli 2 TBS margarine Total carbs: 57 grams, about 4 carb servings
Snack1 low-fat string cheese stick 2 tangerines Total carbs: 19 grams, about 1 carb serving
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Find Out How Much Salt Or Sugar Is In Your Recipe
Wholesome let’s you create and save your own recipes and see how much salt or sugar is in them . You can also browse community recipes or see your Facebook friend’s recipes. With just one-click you can track an entire recipe.
Wholesome calculates the nutrition of your recipe based on the ingredients and number of servings so you easily can see how much salt or sugar is in each serving.
Percent Of Daily Calories
Cut back on added sugars is a familiar health recommendation but until now, there has been no frame of reference on whether youre eating too much, and how to cut back. The new FDA proposal, based on a review of the current scientific data provides a guideline for daily added sugar intake: 10 percent of daily calories consumed.
For a person consuming 2000 calories, this is about 200 calories per day .
Heres how to translate from calories to grams to teaspoons. Use the divide by 4 rule of simple sugar math. Take the calories and divide by 4 to get the grams of added sugar. For 200 calories, this is 50 grams. And for teaspoons? Divide by 4 again to get around 12 teaspoons of added sugars daily. Depending on your daily calorie intake, a recommended added sugar intake can range from 6 teaspoons to 15 teaspoons a day, for most people.
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Monday: Lunch Was A Home
I try to pack my lunch most days because I really enjoy cooking, plus, it saves me money. I kept things simple today with a meatless sausage from Trader Joe’s, roasted asparagus, and brown rice.
You’ll soon realize that I coat almost everything I cook in one seasoning: Eat Barbecue Zero to Hero Sweet Rub. It’s a sweet and spicy combination that I swear by, usually mindlessly shaking it on everything. Once I started tracking my sugar, I quickly realized that it is loaded with added sugar. No wonder I am addicted.
Asparagus: 4.8g sugar
Zero to Hero rub : 4g sugar
Soy sauce: 1g sugar
Italian sausage-less sausage: 1g sugar
Olive oil and brown rice: 0g sugar
Wednesday Summary: Surprisingly My Only Completely Home
Total sugar for the day: 60g
Added sugar: 43g
I was surprised to see that I managed to go even higher with my added sugars than the day before. Plus, my veggie-filled lunch was the biggest hidden sugar culprit. As well as the seasoning, the corn and asparagus alone totaled 15 grams. I had no idea just how much sugar was hiding in my bowl of vegetables.
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Choose Whole Foods Not Processed
While label-checking can be a big part of weeding out added sugars, your best bet is to eat foods that don’t even contain ingredient labels, that is, whole, natural foods. These include:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Lean meats, fish, and seafood
Some nutritionists suggest sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store, where the fresh, whole foods are, rather than going down the aisles lined with packaged, processed products.
Why Does Nutrition Tracking Exist
Nutrition tracking can take many forms.
Some people estimate their nutritional intake by using the size of their hands as a proxy for portion control.
Others meticulously record the quantity and nutritional breakdown of all the food they eat.
No matter which technique people use to track their nutrition, the intention is similar.
Ultimately, the goal of nutrition tracking is to gain a better understanding of the nutrient content of the food we consume.
These techniques are useful because we do a horrible job of naturally estimating our nutritional intake.
For example, a pooled analysis showed, on average, we underreport how many calories we eat by 28%!
For instance, the World Health Organization recommends that no more than 10% of your calories should come from sugar, and ideally no more than 5%.
But if you were to reflect on your day yesterday, could you accurately estimate how many of your calories came from sugar?
What about protein? Or sodium?
Its difficult for us to properly estimate the number of calories we eat on a regular basis, let alone the nutritional breakdown of those calories.
And to make matters worse, some items are known to be hidden in foods because they make them taste better or help with preservation. For example, sugar and sodium are two prime suspects. And the average Western diet is too high in both.
See how much sugar the average American consumes.
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Rules For Added Sugars: How To Calculate Your Daily Limit
On Friday, the Food and Drug Adminstration proposed that nutrition fact labels include a daily value for added sugars that they not exceed 10 percent of the calories we eat. So, are you eating too much?
While you might envision sugar only as white crystals sitting in a bowl, its actually an original, unprocessed carbohydrate found in nature in multiple forms: sucrose , fructose , and lactose .
Over the past few decades, the term added sugars has crept into the food lingo, which has forever changed how we need to think about sugars for healthy eating.
And this term means exactly how it sounds: adding extra sugar to packaged and processed foods ranging from treats, to everyday choices that often have healthy sounding names. And there can be a surprising amount of sugar in foods that dont even taste particularly sweet.
How Much Is Too Much
InAmerica alone, sugar addiction is a current threat to everyones health.
According to the World Health Organization, were only allowed around 25g of sugar a day.
Americanstoday consume around 30 teaspoons a day, if not more. This, of course, presentsa current health crisis that many health professionals and nutritionists aretrying to combat.
Therefore, to live a healthy lifestyle, you need to restrict your sugar intake. Its not easy but there are some ways and habits that can help achieve your aim of restricting the intake of sugar.
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How Many Treats Do You Get
That 6% limit translates to 30 grams of sugar in a 2,000 calorie daily diet less sugar than whats in a 12-ounce can of soda. Its a limit that more closely reflects the American Heart Associations current recommendation, which was issued in 2009.
The heart associations recommendation translates to a limit of 6 teaspoons of sugar, or about 25 grams each day for women and children over 2 years of age and about 9 teaspoons, or about 36 grams for men.
There are 6 teaspoons or 25 grams of sugar in two and a half chocolate chip cookies, 16 ounces of fruit punch and about 1½ tablespoons of honey. There are 9 teaspoons, or about 36 grams of sugar in 11 ounces of cola, 2 servings of premium vanilla ice cream and about 2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon of honey.
Why do you need to avoid added sugars? They increase the risk for cardiovascular disease in different ways. For one, excess calorie intake contributes to weight gain, thereby increasing risks for insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
High sugar intake is also associated with increased triglyceride levels that often accompany reduced HDL-cholesterol levels, thereby contributing to metabolic syndrome, also a risk for developing cardiovascular disease, explained Linda Van Horn, chief of the nutrition division at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicines department of preventive medicine.
Show Sodium Whos Boss
What can you do? Start by tracking your sodium with our sodium tracker. Its an easy way to keep tabs on how much sodium youre getting in your diet. Just jot down what you eat that blueberry muffin for breakfast, or the garlic bread with last nights spaghetti and the accompanying sodium stats. Remember: Sodium levels vary in the same foods depending on the brand or restaurant.
At the end of the day its easy to tally how much sodium you consumed so you can make better choices if needed. Sometimes a small adjustment can bring big results when it comes to your health! The American Heart Association has lots of resources to help you stay on track. Learn how to change your salty ways in only 21 days.
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Tooth Decay And Sugar
Sugar and tooth decay are closely linked. Dental plaque is a clingy film made up of food particles, bacteria and mucous. The bacteria in plaque depend on sugars to produce acids, which break down the enamel and start tooth decay.All carbohydrates contribute to this process, not just sugar, but large amounts of sugar in sweets and soft drinks are most likely to contribute to decay. Other nutritious foods also allow the bacteria in plaque to produce acids. Sticky sugars that cling to the teeth are worse than sugars that are easily swallowed, such as fresh fruit.Ways to reduce the risk of tooth decay include:
- Cut down on sticky, sugary foods like lollies.
- Drink water instead of cordials, soft drinks and juices.
- Allow at least 2 hours between meals.
- Brush and floss regularly and after meals.
- Drink fluoridated water or use fluoride treatments.
- Visit the dentist regularly.
To Better Manage Diabetes Make Technology Work For You
As you explore diabetes apps, keep in mind that your goal is to find the technology solution that will be a good fit for you, Ilkowitz emphasizes. It should help make your life easier, not more complicated. Find apps that are easy to use, sync seamlessly with your devices, and give you useful information.
Also, know that while apps can be incredibly valuable tools, they cant and shouldnt try to replace individualized medical advice. Its still not a person. Its still not the team, says Ilkowitz. She advises walking through your apps with your certified diabetes educator to be sure they are appropriate tools for you and that youre using them correctly.
Additional reporting by Alice Callahan.
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Swapping Added Sugars For Natural Alternatives
The following tips can help a person replace the added sugar in their diet with more healthful alternatives:
- Try adding mint leaves, cucumber, berries, or citrus fruit to plain or sparkling water.
- Swap sweets and desserts for fruit, but avoid canned fruit in syrup.
- Prepare homemade sauces and salad dressings.
- Replace store-bought granola and snack mixes with homemade varieties that include unsweetened dried fruits and non-frosted wholegrain cereals.
- When cooking or baking, use unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas instead of sugar.
- Stop using sugar in tea and coffee or reduce the amount.
- Use herbs and spices instead of sauces that contain added sugar.