Dessert cravings are something so irresistible that it is almost impossible to ignore. But do you know how much sugar should you eat in a day? Sugar is something that is highly addictive. Once you start eating sugar, it is tough to spend a day without it.
Have you ever thought about how much sugar should you eat in a day? Well, if you have not thought about it, then now is the time to do so. Sugar can be like a poison that does not show its effects all of a sudden but slowly, it is harming your body.
You may not realize how much sugar should you eat or how to determine that it is getting too much. Remember all those sugar cravings that you get randomly and how you cannot control it? Yes, it is time to get it under control.
In this article, we will be discussing how much sugar should you eat in a day and how to control it if it is getting too much.
Why Is Sugar Bad for You?
Before getting into how much sugar should you eat in a day, let us first understand why sugar is bad for you. The question of why sugar is bad for you must have raised in your mind before looking at how much sugar should you eat in a day.
If you are wondering, why is sugar even bad for me? It cannot be that bad. Well, let us look at a few helpful points about the harmful effects of consuming too much sugar so we can get a thorough understanding of how much sugar should you eat in a day.
1. Increases the Risk of Obesity
There are a lot of factors that contribute to obesity, but one of the most prominent aspects is the consumption of too much added sugar. It is said that an average American may be consuming around a shocking 20 teaspoons of sugar daily.
Sugar contributes a lot to the weight gain of an individual. You may not realize in the very beginning, but it gradually increases to be very dangerous for health.
2. Increases the Signs of Ageing
Sugar has a vital role to play in increasing the signs of aging. Sugar is that one thing that can make your skin look dull and lifeless. It also increases the sagging of your skin, which also leads to more wrinkles.
You would not want to look old when you are young, right?
3. It Can Contribute to Acne and Breakouts
The fact that sugar has a huge role to play in your acne and breakouts may be known to a lot of people. You must have noticed that whenever your sugar intake is too high, you tend to break out the next day or the day after that.
Sugar does a lot of harm to your skin that you may not even realize. The more sugar you eat, the more damaged your skin will be.
4. Causes Tooth Decay
The amount of sugar you eat daily plays a massive role in your oral health. Tooth decay is prevalent among children because they are the ones who eat a lot of sugar in the form of chocolates or candies.
This is the most basic effect of sugar in your body that is often overlooked by a lot of people. Tooth decay is caused by the leftover sugar left in your teeth, which leads to the decaying of teeth more than most other foods.
5. Increases the Risk of Diabetes
It is said that type 2 diabetes and sugar have a connection with one another. Sugar is not the main factor that causes diabetes, but it plays a significant role and should not be overlooked.
Consuming too many calories daily is one of the reasons for type 2 diabetes. Most of the foods that contain sugar are high in calories, which may, in turn, lead to heart diseases.
So, the daily calorie intake also includes the total sugar that you have had in a day. Thus, sugar should be avoided to avoid the risk of diabetes.
6. Makes You Less Productive
Consuming too much sugar can make you too lazy because the activity of orexin cells in your brain is decreased. This is something that you would feel after having a meal that is high in carbs too.
Sugar is known to make you feel sleepy and inactive. You must have noticed that after having too much cake or chocolates, your body must have felt too sluggish and low on energy.
7. It Can Be Very Addictive
Sugar is one of the very addictive substances of them all. Once you start eating sugar, you cannot get enough. You are always in need to eat more sugar.
Have you noticed that whenever you see a pastry, you cannot have just one bite? You dig into another bite and then the bite after that. That is how addictive sugar is. Whenever people say that they have a sweet tooth, it just means that they are highly addicted to sugar.
How Much Sugar Should You Eat In A Day?
Now that we have understood what harm sugar can do to your body, let us know how much sugar should you eat in a day.
1. For Men
The amount of calories of added sugar that men can eat in a day is not more than 150 calories per day that can also be classified as nine teaspoons or 38g in a day.
2. For Women
For women, how much sugar should you eat in a day also depends on your underlying health diseases such as PCOD or PCOS? An average woman can eat no more than 100 calories of added sugar in a day that can also be classified as six teaspoons or 25 grams in a day.
For women with PCOD or PCOS, you may feel a lot of sugar cravings, but it is vital to keep your insulin levels stable. Make sure you do not exceed more than 20 grams of added sugar in a day. It is advised to limit the intake of sugar as much as you can and not consume it daily.
3. For Children
How much sugar should you eat in a day when it comes to children? Children can get addicted to sugar very quickly. It is imperative to control their sugar intake in the early years only.
For the age of 2-18, children can eat not more than six teaspoons or 25 grams of added sugar per day.
Now you know how much sugar should you eat in a day. The majority of people tend to exceed the daily sugar intake by a considerable number. People keep consuming sugar without knowing what harm it can do to their bodies.
Natural Sugar Vs. Added Sugar
There are a couple of foods that consist of naturally occurring sugars, and these foods are usually whole foods. There are some vegetables and fruits that have sugar fructose. Other than that, milk consists of sugar known as lactose.
Such fruits, vegetables, and dairy products do not cause as much harm to your body because these are natural sugars that also contain nutritional benefits. In this way, even though you are consuming sugar, but it is also providing you with some services that are important for your consumption of nutrients.
Added sugar or caloric sweeteners are artificially added by the manufacturers in their products or drinks. These kinds of sugars do not contain any nutritional benefits and thus, causing severe harm to your body.
There are even natural sweeteners that are being added by the manufacturers such as maple syrup, coconut sugar, and honey.
How do you determine whether your food contains added sugar? Well, look out for these terms in your food or nutrition labels.
- high-fructose corn syrup
- molecules of sugar ending with “ose” such as dextrose, glucose, maltose, sucrose, lactose, and fructose
- refined white sugar
- brown sugar
- raw sugar
- maple syrup
- malt sugar
- coconut sugar
- corn sweetener
- fruit juice concentrates
How to Control Sugar Intake?
We hope you got an idea about how much sugar should you eat in a day. Now, you must be wondering, how do I control my sugar intake? Is it that hard to control it? The answer to that is listed down below.
1. Cut Down On Your Sugar Intake
This may seem like an essential step, but it also the most crucial one to follow. You cannot get up one morning and vow not to have sugar ever in your life. It just does not work like that.
You have to work gradually to achieve your goals just like you would do with any other purpose, big or small. You plan out things and pave progressively your way to the top. You can slowly try to reduce your sugar intake, and you would instantly start noticing the difference.
2. Look Out For Alternatives
If you are finding it difficult to reduce sugar thoroughly, then you can start by opting for healthier alternatives. The first alternative being Agave that comes from the same family as Tequila. Another one is Monk Fruit that comes from South East Asia, and it is 150 to 200 times sweeter than sugar.
A more commonly used alternative is Stevia. It is a powder-like form that comes from a ground-up leaf of South America. It is calorie-free and can be as much as 100-300 times sweeter than sugar. You will require way less of it, and it does not cause any harm to your blood sugar as well.
These alternatives can be used in moderation, and like any other thing, do not overuse it.
3. Stick To Natural Sugar
If sugar is something that you cannot avoid, then go for something that does not have any added sugar in it. It is always good to stick with your natural sugar. If you are craving for something sweet, gravitate yourself towards an apple instead of a piece of cake.
When you are consuming natural sugar, you are always taking in some nutritional benefits instead of having empty calories does not do any good to you. Go for healthy fruits like apple, watermelon, or any berries.
4. Follow A Proper Diet and Exercise
As much as it is essential to control sugar intake, it is also vital to follow a good diet and eat well. When you follow a good diet and focus on eating well, your body will become more productive, and you will not feel as lazy as you did earlier.
It is crucial to have a healthy lifestyle because it also impacts your mental health positively. If you are taking care of your body, you will not feel like spoiling it by having too much sugar.
You will be more motivated every day to take care of your body and eat foods that are high in nutritional values. In that way, your body will look healthy, and your skin will glow from within.
5. Ditch the Soda
How much sugar should you eat in a day when it comes to your sugary drinks? Sugary drinks are something that can cause so much harm and because it is like drinking dissolved sugar.
You may buy packaged fruit juices in hopes that it would be right for you, but it turns out that it is worst of them all. You may purchase a can of soda and gulp it without knowing what it is doing to your body.
It is now time to ditch the soda and go for healthier alternatives, and the best option is water. Stay hydrated by drinking water, and if you are addicted to caffeine, then ditch the ones with sugar and limit your caffeine intake too.
6. Read Food Labels Carefully
It is high time that you start taking food labels seriously. Read what is going in your food. It is time to flip that package and read the food labels thoroughly. A lot of companies sell foods claiming that they are sugar-free but what they do not mention is that they contain alternatives of sugar like high-fructose corn syrup and others that are mentioned above.
Go through the dietary guidelines carefully before buying any more processed foods.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that a person should reduce his sugar intake to under 10% of physical calories.
We hope that your question about how much sugar should you eat in a day was answered along with some tips on how to cut down on sugar successfully.
Let us know in the comments how much sugar should you eat daily.