The American Heart Association would like to see Americans cut excess pounds, and it has issued a scientific statement urging adults to cut back on sugar. This is a rather radical recommendation, since the science linking sugar to obesity is not airtight. Data suggest that American adults average about 355 calories a day from sugar, though. Sugar offers no other nutrients beyond calories, so the AHA suggests that women limit their sugar to no more than 100 calories daily and men limit their intake to 150 calories worth of sugar or less. That is the equivalent of nine teaspoons of sugar.
With 130 calories from sugar in a 12-ounce can of cola, dietary habits will have to change a lot to meet these guidelines. The American Heart Association says its recommendation is not meant to cover sugar found naturally in vegetables, fruits or dairy products, only the sugar that is added during processing. Soft drinks, candy, cakes, cookies and pies provide the lion’s share of added sugar in the American diet.

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  1. RMD

    I believe the body metabolizes brown, raw and white sugar the same way, but it’s best to check with a dietitian or doctor.

  2. L.J.

    Hasn’t a recent study from UC Davis, CA, indicated that fructose has a more serious effect on triglycerides and insulin sensitivity? How serious?

  3. MJW

    I stopped eating sugar about 8 years ago, and consider it one of the best decisions of my life. I don’t consume products with high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners either. The most interesting development was that, after about a year of no sugar, my taste buds started to change. Certain items that formerly did not taste sweet now do (I understand why they are “sweet” peas). I have no desire for sugar, and foods such as dates and other fruits more than satisfy any desire for something sweet. I had to learn to read labels very carefully, however, for almost everything contains sugar.

  4. Anne K.

    Question: Is brown sugar or raw sugar in the same category as white sugar?
    Thank you.

  5. Julie

    They have to start with the food manufacturers. I don’t know why we are not allowed to salt and sugar our own foods in this country. There is no reason why cereals have to contain so much. If people want it they can add it themselves. I’ve been pre-diabetic for 4 years and once you start reading labels you are truly amazed at how much sugar and salt food items contain.

  6. RMD

    They are correctly concerned about too much sugar in the American diet, but what about all those artificial sweeteners in Low calorie foods and as S.H. states, what about High Fructose Corn Syrup. My brother has been a physician for thirty years and he would rather eat foods containing sugar than artificial sweeteners or HFCS. Same for butter versus margarine.

  7. s.h.

    They are worrying about sugar? They should be hot on the trail of High Fructose Corn Syrup ! That horrid stuff is on the labels of most all foods. Even my favorite Ketchup has it!
    Insulin works on sugar; does it work well on High Fructose Corn Syrup? I have read in numberous reports that HFCS is poorly controlled by insulin. (I know that it gives me stomach/intestinal “problems”….);
    Lots of the foods and snacks kids enjoy have it. (I have seen commercials stating that HFCS is just like sugar and fine……ha!)

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