The MAXIMUM SUGAR You Can Eat in a Single Day Before THIS HAPPENS

The Maximum Amount of Sugar You Should Eat in a Day is…

Timestamps ⏱

0:00 – What is the Maximum Amount of Sugar You Can Have in a Single Day?
1:04 – Historical Intakes of Sugar
1:39 – Different Kinds of Sugar | Names to Look for on a Label
2:12 – How You Might Feel if You’re Consuming too Much Sugar
3:24 – If You’re an Active Person, How Much Sugar Can You Have?
5:56 – If You’re a Sedentary Person, How Much Sugar Can You Have?
8:36 – Get LMNT Electrolytes & Receive a FREE Sample Flavors Pack!
9:23 – Allocate the Majority of Sugar Intake Towards the Morning
9:59 – If You’re an Average Person, How Much Sugar Can You Have?
11:02 – Why You Should Try to be Active All Day
11:24 – How Do You Know If You’re Overdoing the Sugar?


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How much sugar is too much?


As modern grocery shoppers, we try to be engaged and knowledgeable about nutrition.

From salt to sugar, the movement is on to regain control of what we put on the table. But there’s a lot of confusing information to wade through.

Studies show that 80% of shoppers come across conflicting nutritional data and 59% doubt the choices they’re making for their families. What consumers aren’t confused about, though, is the need for a healthy change.

American adults consume an average of 77 grams of sugar per day, more than 3 times the recommended amount for women.

This adds up to around 60 pounds of added sugar annually – that’s six, 10-pound bowling balls, folks! The numbers are even worse for children. American kids consume 81 grams per day, equaling over 65 pounds of added sugar per year. Think of it this way – children are ingesting over 30 gallons of added sugars from beverages alone. That’s enough to fill a bathtub! Where’s all this added sugar coming from?

Beverages are the leading category source of added sugars (47% of all added sugars):

  • soft drinks – 25%
  • fruit drinks – 11%
  • sport/energy drinks – 3%
  • coffee/tea – 7%

And, as you might guess, snacks and sweets are the next biggest contributor of added sugars at 31%.

How does the body react to so much sugar?

So, what’s a smart shopper to do? It’s tempting to look to alternative sugars as a magical solution. Products made with honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or turbinado sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and dextrose, for example, are perceived as healthier choices. Don’t be fooled. Your body sure isn’t! Too much sugar is too much, no matter the source.

It all comes down to how fast the sugars get absorbed. For example, your body spends more time digesting an apple because of the fiber content, so the natural sugar absorbs more slowly. On the flip side, the added sugar in soda arrives all at once in your system like a sugar bomb. All that extra sugar gets converted to calories much more quickly. Not so good for your system!

If you’re looking for no calories, your best option might be a plant-based sweetener like stevia or monk fruit. These sweeteners are “generally recognized as safe” based on published research, a conclusion which has been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

AHA Sugar Recommendation

To keep all of this in perspective, it’s helpful to remember the American Heart Association’s recommendations for sugar intake.

  • Men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams or 150 calories) of added sugar per day.
  • For women, the number is lower: 6 teaspoons (25 grams or 100 calories) per day. Consider that one 12-ounce can of soda contains 8 teaspoons (32 grams) of added sugar! There goes your whole day’s allotment in one slurp.

The good news is that the added-sugar message is breaking through, and many American adults crave a change.

In fact, research suggests that 77 percent of Americans are striving for less sugar in their diets. And 7 in 10 consumers are willing to give up a favorite sugary product in favor of finding a healthier alternative.

The willingness is there. For now, your best defense is education.

Food manufacturers are required to list the amount of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label by mid 2021 or earlier depending on the size of the company. A recent analysis found that this labeling could potentially prevent nearly 1 million cases of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes over the next two decades. Listing the total amount of added sugars means that consumers will no longer have to search through the many different aliases for added sugars to try and determine how much added sugar a food or drink contains.

So, read those labels carefully and realize that added sugar is added sugar, no matter what sneaky alias it’s using!

How Many Grams of Sugar Should You Eat per Day?

We’re not going to sugarcoat it—how much you should eat per day, the difference between natural and added sugars, and how much sugar is too much.


Aah, sugar—the sweet stuff we all love to eat. Brownies, cookies, candy and ice cream just wouldn’t be the same.

But how much sugar should we eat a day?

The truth is, most of us eat too much sugar. So, how can you balance your sweet tooth with your health? Read on to learn more about sugar, including the sources of added sugar, how much is considered healthy and what happens when you eat more than you should.

Natural vs. Added Sugar

Sugars are carbohydrates, and they’re the body’s preferred source of energy. There are many types of sugars, including:

  • Glucose: A simple sugar that is the building block of carbohydrates
  • Fructose: Like glucose, it is another type of simple sugar found naturally in fruits, root vegetables and honey
  • Sucrose: Commonly known as table sugar, it includes equal parts of fructose and glucose
  • Lactose: The sugar that naturally occurs in milk that is made up of equal parts of glucose and galactose

When you eat carbohydrates, the body breaks them down into glucose, which is used for energy.

Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and dairy contain natural sugars, with fructose, glucose and lactose being inherently part of these foods.

Sugar also occurs naturally in sugarcane and sugar beets as sucrose. However, these are processed to make white sugar, which can then be added to processed foods and beverages.

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is another type of added sugar made from corn, per the USDA. While sucrose is 50% glucose and 50% fructose, HFCS comes in two types:

  • HFCS-55, a type of HFCS with 55% fructose and 45% glucose that is used in soft drinks
  • HFCS-42, a type of HFCS with 42% fructose and 58% glucose that is used in baked goods, beverages and more

While honey, maple syrup and agave are natural sugars, they are considered added sugar when added to foods. S

Sugar can also be processed and added to foods under various names including inverted sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, molasses, brown sugar, brown rice syrup and more.

The main sources of added sugars in the American diet are desserts, soft drinks, juices, sweetened dairy products like flavored milk, yogurt, and ice cream and sweetened refined grain products like sugary cereals.

How Much Sugar Should You Eat per Day?

According to the USDA, on average, an American adult eats 17 teaspoons (68 grams) of added sugar per day. This amount is more than the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines, which recommend limiting calories from added sugars to less than 10 percent per day. That’s 12 teaspoons or 48 grams of sugar if following a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet.

The American Heart Association (AHA) has stricter limits and recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of added sugar per day and men stay under 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of added sugar per day.

While you might not be eating dessert every day, remember that added sugar can be found in foods and beverages you enjoy. A flavored coffee, a store-bought yogurt parfait a green juice are some potential sources of added sugar. You may also find hidden added sugar in sauces, salad dressings and many more, putting you over your daily recommended consumption.

How Do You Identify Natural and Added Sugar in Foods?

You can now find out whether there is added sugar in packaged foods, thanks to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) for mandating the update of the Nutrition Facts label to help you make informed choices. With the new label regulations, food companies now have to add a line for added sugar on the Nutrition Facts panel. You may see “Includes X grams of added sugar” under “Sugars” on the panel.

For instance, if a food has 10 grams of sugar and says, “includes 8 grams of added sugars” on the nutrition facts label, then you know that only 2 grams of sugar in the product are naturally occurring.

Check the ingredients list, too. A dried fruit product, for example, may say “mangoes, sugar,” so you know some of the sugar comes naturally from the mango but the rest is added. If the ingredients list only says, “mangoes,” then you know that all the sugar in the dried mangoes is naturally occurring and none has been added.

A good rule of thumb is that fruits, vegetables and plain dairy products all contain natural sugar. Anything else is probably added.

What If You Have Diabetes?

The AHA’s recommendation for added sugar “is no different for people with diabetes,” says Molly Cleary, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian of Molly Clearly Nutrition based in New York City. “Almost everyone would benefit from limiting added sugar intake, including those with diabetes; however, small amounts of added sugar can be worked into a balanced diet,” she says.

The thought that sugar causes diabetes is a myth, according to the American Diabetes Association. However, excess sugar can lead to weight gain, increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes. Drinking too many sugary beverages has also been linked to type 2 diabetes.

If you do drink soda, sweet tea or other sweetened beverages regularly, it’s a good idea to cut back. Try using less sugar in your tea and coffee, drinking unsweetened flavored seltzers or adding herbs and fruits (think mint, strawberry or lemon) to your water to make it more exciting.

What If You Want to Lose Weight?

“The problem with sugar and weight loss [for many] isn’t candy, soda and cookies,” says Megan Kober, RD, a registered dietitian and founder of Nutrition Addiction. “The problem is juice bars [offer] smoothies…with 2 cups of fruit…and acai bowls [that] people are loading up on for weight loss…yet [these bowls could include] 40, 50, even 60 grams of sugar…[similar to] a [can of] pop.”

“Honey, agave, coconut sugar—it’s all sugar,” she adds. “It all causes a blood sugar spike. It all causes a rush of insulin to be released. It all puts your body into fat-storage mode.”

For those who wonder how much sugar they should stay under to lose weight, Kober says, “Are you really going to tally up how much sugar you’re eating all day long, added sugar versus natural sugar? No. I doubt it,” she says. Instead, “Eat one or two servings of fruit every day. Choose berries more often because they’re high in fiber and lower in sugar than other fruit.”

What Happens If You Eat Too Much Sugar?

While the body needs sugar for energy, have you ever wondered what happens when you eat too much of it?

Extra sugar is stored as fat, which leads to weight gain, a risk factor for many chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Studies link eating too much sugar to an increased risk of heart disease, per a 2019 article published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. In fact, a high intake of refined carbohydrates (including sugar, white flour and more) has also been linked to metabolic syndrome, which is marked by myriad conditions including obesity, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and abnormal cholesterol levels, per a 2021 publication in Atherosclerosis.

On the contrary, evidence from multiple research studies published in 2018 in Expert Review of Endrocrinology & Metabolism suggests a diet low in overall added sugar is associated with a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Reducing added sugar intake wherever possible benefits your health.

The Bottom Line

Sugar is often demonized but remember, it’s the body’s preferred energy source and adds flavor to food. While there are healthy snacks to satisfy your sweet tooth, keep an eye on added sugar, which can sneak into seemingly healthy foods. Added sugar has no nutritional value and is stored as fat if consumed in excess. Too much sugar over time may put you at risk of heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and cancer.

Nevertheless, don’t stress over every bite of sugar, especially sugar from whole foods like fruits and vegetables. If you are curious about lowering your overall sugar intake, consult a registered dietitian who can work with you to reach your health goals






The links above are affiliate links, so I receive a small commission every time you use them to purchase a product. The content contained in this video, and its accompanying description, is not intended to replace viewers’ relationships with their own medical practitioner. Always speak with your doctor regarding the content of this channel, and especially before using any products, services, or devices discussed on this channel or website.

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