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Added Sugars

Where does added sugar come from?

Nearly 8 out of 10 adults are trying to reduce sugar in their diets.

  • Almost half of the added sugar in the American diet comes from one source: sugary drinks.

  • Other sources include baked goods, candy, cereals, dairy products and desserts.

The AHA recommends limiting added sugar to 9 teaspoons (36 grams) per day for most men and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day for most women and children over 2.

The average adult gets about 17 teaspoons of sugar each day -- almost double the limit for men and triple the limit for women!

Subtract Added Sugars

Make smart choices as part of an overall healthy eating pattern:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables of all colors and types.

  • Cut back on the amount of sugar you add to foods and drinks.

  • Choose mostly nutrient-dense foods instead of empty calories.

  • Replace sugary drinks with water and sugar-free options.

  • Read labels to find products with less added sugars.

Your Health

Too much added sugar may put you at higher risk for:

  • Cardiovascular disease

  • Cognitive problems, including dementia and Alzheimer’s

  • Colon cancer

  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels

  • Kidney disease

  • Liver disease

  • Obesity

  • Pancreatic cancer

  • Retina, muscle and nerve damage

Too much added sugar may cause:

  • Cavities/tooth decay

  • Inflammation

  • Overeating

  • Increased waist size

  • Weight gain

  • Skin aging and wrinkles

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