HOW MUCH SUGAR SHOULD YOU HAVE

Have you ever checked out the nutrition label? 

You'll notice that sugar doesn't have a % Daily Value listed. 

It's hard to come across exactly why this isn't listed. I'm guessing politics has a big play. (Yes politics are in your food!)

Either way, its not there. Which can make it difficult when assessing the labels. 

So how much sugar should we be consuming?

The World Health Organization (WHO) and The American Heart Association give us some guidelines. They recommend 3 teaspoons for children and 6-9 teaspoons for adults. 1 teaspoon = 4 grams, so: 

Children < 12 grams 

Women < 24 grams

Men < 36 Grams

The WHO recommends that we reduce our energy (or calorie) intake from free sugars to less than 10%. They define free sugars as: 

"Free sugars refer to monosaccharides (such as glucose, fructose) and disaccharides (such as sucrose or table sugar) added to foods and drinks by the manufacturer, cook or consumer, and sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates."

Let's put this into perspective here:

12 oz can of Coke = 39g

Grande Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte = 49g

Yoplait Original Yogurt = 27g

Kind Bar = 14g

365 Apple Cereal Bars = 17g

And this beautiful Evolution Fresh Strawberry Lemonade has 29 grams of sugar, but check out the serving size. There are 2 servings per container. So this little 16 oz bottle has 58 grams of sugar.

Unfortunately, the labels clump all sugars together. Natural, processed, glucose, fructose, lactose, etc. There's no telling them apart.

This list probably missed some of the hidden sugars added into foods. I know the apple has fiber that effects the sugar absorption. But it still adds up.

This list probably missed some of the hidden sugars added into foods. I know the apple has fiber that effects the sugar absorption. But it still adds up.

That's when it becomes important to check out the ingredients list. Is sugar listed? And where? The main ingredients are listed first.

The thing is, our body doesn't differentiate much between natural and processed sugars. 

Its the fiber that affects how our bodies respond. The fiber slows down the absorption. Limits the insulin release, and eases the effects on the body.

This is why eating a whole apple is so different from drinking apple juice. The juicing removes the fiber. 

As you can see prior to giving up sugar, I was consuming well over 3 times the recommended amount on a given day. 

I challenge you. Start reading your labels. And pay attention to your sugar consumption. Keep a tally one day and count it up. It'll surprise you!