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How Much Sugar Is In That, Anyway?

SugarHow much sugar should we be consuming? According to the World Health Organization, we should be consuming no more than 10 percent of our daily calories from added sugar (table sugar and sugars added to packaged foods when processed). The American Heart Association, however, recommends that women consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar every day and men, no more than nine. Personally, I subscribe to the more conservative approach, because let’s face it, even if we aim for the lower numbers, there will be times when we go over that limit.

In general, I advise people to adhere to the following guidelines for the following caloric intakes:

  • 1500 calorie diet: < 22.5g or < 6 tsp
  • 2000 calorie diet: < 30g or < 7.5 tsp
  • 2500 calorie diet: < 37.5g or < 9 tsp


To put this into perspective, 1 teaspoon of sugar equates to about 4 grams of sugar. So, if you are a coffee drinker and you use three level teaspoons of sugar with your coffee in the morning, you are consuming about 12 grams of sugar. As you can see, for women, that is about half of your daily allowance!

Unfortunately, there are a lot of seemingly healthy foods that have a lot of sugar in them. To give you some sense of comparison, here is a chart that provides some foods, and how much sugar they contain. For instance, Fruit Loops, a high sugar cereal has less sugar in it per serving than granola or low-fat, fruit flavored yogurt. How’s that for healthy?

Food Grams Teaspoons
1 cup of fruit loops 15 g 3.75 tsp
2/3 cup of granola 16 g 4 tsp
6 ounces of low fat, fruit flavored yogurt 28 g 7 tsp
1 cup Dried Fruit 84 g 21 tsp
8 oz juice 22 g 5.5 tsp
¼ cup syrup (pancakes) 32 g 8 tsp
20 oz soda 64 g 16 tsp
16 oz snapple 46 g 11.5 tsp
Balance Bar 19 g 4.75 tsp
1 cup Frozen yogurt 34 g 8.5 tsp
21 oz McDonalds Shake 96 g 24 tsp
2 Tbsp Ketchup 8 g 2 tsp

If you are looking to cut back on sugar in your diet, check labels and start paying attention to how many grams of sugar you are consuming each day. Cut back little by little so that you don’t go through any major withdrawal symptoms emotionally of physically.

Are you trying to cut back on sugar? Are you surprised by some of the foods listed above?

If you’re interested in conquering the addiction for good, download my free recording of my “Conquer Sugar Addiction” teleseminar.

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