Earlier this year, the federal government released their 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines report which recommended that less than 10 percent of daily calories should come from added sugars (note- this does not include naturally occurring sugars found in milk and fruits). The guidelines are based on Americans eating a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, meaning 10% of daily calories equals 50 grams of sugar. While this guideline may seem strict, it does not come as a surprise, as new research shows too much added sugar can result in severe weight gain and an increase in risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
You may be thinking, “50 grams of sugar does not sound like a lot,” and you are right. Just one Grande Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks has a whopping 59 grams of sugar- just over the daily limit. Wondering what other foods and drinks will reach you near or over the limit? Here are just a few:
One 12 oz bottle of Coca-Cola- one bottle of this with lunch and you’re already almost at the daily limit with 39 grams of added sugar.
One Clif Bar- Clif Bars can range anywhere from 20-25 grams of sugar in just one bar- that’s half your daily sugar in a food most people consider a snack!
1/2 Cup of Pasta Sauce- When thinking of foods high in sugar, pasta sauce is usually not one of the first to come to mind- but just one serving of Bertolli Tomato and Basil pasta sauce has 12 grams of sugar.
A bottle of Gatorade- While this sports drink prides itself off having important electrolytes that keep body fluids in balance, one serving also contains just around 21 grams of sugar. What’s worse? Most bottles of Gatorade contain 2-2.5 servings per bottle. That’s over 42 grams of sugar!
Overall, added sugar can be found in almost all processed food products. While it now may seem impossible to avoid going over the daily recommended sugar intake, it’s much easier than you think. Educate yourself, be mindful of nutrition labels, and most importantly, eat more whole, unprocessed foods with natural sugar, like fruits and vegetables.