Adults should not consume more than 30 g of free sugars per day (approximately the equivalent of 7 sugar cubes). Children aged 7 to 10 should not consume more than 24 g of free sugars per day (6 sugar cubes). Children between 4 and 6 years old should not consume more than 19 g of free sugars per day (5 sugar cubes). To optimize your health, do your best to avoid foods that contain added sugar.
Even the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting calories from added sugars to less than 10 percent of total calories per day (. The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than 150 calories of added sugar per day and women not to consume more than 100 calories. The experts I've spoken to suggest that anything less than 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams is OK to store in the pantry. Over time, you might reduce your intake of these foods, but first, be kind to yourself and take a kind approach.
With an average daily intake of 2000 calories, you should limit yourself to less than 200 calories from added sugar. That amount translates to 50 grams of sugar, or about 12 teaspoons. However, not everyone has a recommended daily intake of 2000 calories. The amount you need varies depending on your age, gender, activity level, weight-loss goals, and pregnancy status.
While natural sugars are found in highly nutritious foods that provide vital nutrients to the body, added sugars are generally found in foods that lack nutrients and are high in calories. If you're tempted to follow a food labeled “dietary,” know that it's not calorie-free and may contain added sugars for flavor. The thing is that, although it is a well-known fact that sugar is unhealthy, it is still present (albeit hidden) in many common foods, which can often be difficult to keep track of how much sugar is actually consumed. In the same way that a smoker should avoid cigarettes completely, a person addicted to sugar may need to avoid sugar completely.
Foods with natural sugars can help satisfy a sweet tooth without the negative effects of added sugars. The natural lactose in yogurt is around 1 teaspoon per 100 grams, so any amount of sugar greater than that amount will be the added sugar referred to by the WHO. However, once you start to eliminate sugar, you may find that you start to feel better, that you may not have as many high and low blood sugar levels, and you may also have fewer sugar cravings. Maltitol is a sugar substitute and a sugary alcohol commonly used by people looking to lose weight or control diabetes.
This type of sugar can come in different forms, such as table sugar (or sucrose) or syrup, such as high-fructose corn syrup. If you want to limit your sugar intake, the first thing you should do is identify the sources of added sugar in your diet.