Do you know how much added sugar you consume per day? Here's how to find out if you are eating too much

  • 1 Minute Read
Sue Heikkinen
Sue Heikkinen, MS, RDN, CDCES, BC-ADM, ACE-PT - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist Educator

You may crave and enjoy sweets, but too much added sugar per day can interfere with meeting your health goals. Learn what counts as added sugar and how much is too much.

Added sugar per day

Why should you watch how much added sugar you eat per day?

Added sugars provide carbohydrates and calories but no nutrient value. Researchers link high added sugar consumption to being overweight, increased blood fat and blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and lower vitamin and mineral intake. The FDA defines added sugars as sugars added during the processing of foods, foods packaged as sweeteners (such as table sugar), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices.

You don't need to avoid naturally occurring sugars in milk, fruit, and certain vegetables. They also contain many other nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, antioxidants, calcium, and vitamin D. These nutrients are essential for a healthy diet. On the other hand, limiting foods and beverages with added sugars is wise.

By tracking your added sugar intake, you may discover you consume more added sugars than you realize, including hidden sugar in cereals, granola bars, salad dressings, and sauces.

Guidelines for added sugar

USDA Dietary Guidelines

The 2020-2025 USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend no more than 10% of calories from added sugars. For example, if you have a 1600-calorie budget, your limit is 40 grams per day, the equivalent of ten teaspoons of added sugar.

American Heart Association

The American Heart Association provides a stricter target of no more than 6% of calories from added sugar. For a 1600-calorie diet, this translates to 24 grams per day, the equivalent of six teaspoons of added sugar.

Although there are differing recommendations for added sugars, it's clear most of us get too much. The average American consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugars per day! Sweetened beverages are, by far, the largest source of added sugars.

Tip: Four grams of added sugars equals a teaspoon of sugar.

Tracking added sugars with MyNetDiary

You can track total sugars and added sugars with a Premium MyNetDiary account. MyNetDiary uses the US Dietary Guidelines as the default target for added sugars per day, though you can adjust your target in Settings, as seen below:

You may notice many foods in our database do not have added sugar values. This is because the FDA labeling requirement for added sugars is relatively new, and product information needs to be updated. Also, the USDA does not provide added sugar values for generic foods. We are working to provide this information for more items soon.

Additional Resources:

Looking for healthy drinks besides water? Expert tips for making healthy, low-calorie beverage choices
Love sweets and want to try low-sugar baking? Follow our guide for success!

Still new to MyNetDiary? Learn more today by downloading the app for FREE.

Nutrients->"Carbs: Fiber, Starch, & Sugar" Weight Loss->Sugars & Sweeteners
Dec 22, 2021

Start Your Free
Food Diary Today

Sign up Devices