The World Health Organization recently recommended that adults and children reduce their sugar intake to less than 10 percent of total calorie consumption. “Cut back on sugar” seems to be the diet advice du jour, but everydayhealth.com says there’s more to it than just banning candy, soda, and cake from your diet and skipping sweetener in your coffee.
“The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sweetener per day and men no more than 9 teaspoons,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, and author of Belly Fat Diet For Dummies. “If you don’t add sugar to food, you may think you’re in the clear, but on average, most of us consume as much as 20 teaspoons of sweetener per day,” a huge amount of empty calories that can lead to weight gain and increase your risk for disease. How can you make sure you’re not packing in any hidden sugar? “Be a label detective,” advises Palinski-Wade. “Read the ingredients. If sugar is in the top 3 ingredients, leave the item on the self.”
Find out what else to watch out for in these common sugar bomb
This breakfast favorite doesn’t contain added sugars, but you can find up to 9 grams of sugar in one glass of orange juice — almost as much as a glass of soda! The USDA recommends eating a whole orange instead, to get the added benefit of dietary fiber; studies also show that choosing whole fruits, like apples and grapes, over their juice counterparts can help lower the risk for type 2 diabetes.