Know Your Limit for Added Sugars

Good nutrition is essential for keeping you healthy across your lifespan, but most of us don’t have a balanced diet. On average, we are eating and drinking too many added sugars. 

What are added sugars? 

Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. Naturally occurring sugars such as those in fruit or milk are not added sugars. 

Added sugars have many different names. Examples of added sugars include: 

  • Brown sugar 
  • Cane juice 
  • Corn syrup 
  • Dextrose 
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose 
  • Fruit nectars 
  • Glucose 
  • High-fructose corn syrup 
  • Honey 
  • Lactose 
  • Malt syrup 
  • Maltose 
  • Maple syrup 
  • Molasses 
  • Raw sugar 
  • Sucrose 

What are the health consequences of too much sugar? 

Added sugars contribute calories to your diet, but no essential nutrients. Eating and drinking too many added sugars makes it difficult to achieve a healthy eating pattern without taking in too many calories. 

Too much sugar in your diet can lead to health problems such as weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. 

How much is too much? 

Adults should keep added sugars to less than 10% of their total daily calories. For example, in a 2,000 daily calorie diet, no more than 200 calories (50 grams) should come from added sugars. 

Children under 2 years old should not eat or drink any added sugars. 

Make a change 

Sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugars in the diet. Try swapping out sodas and juices for low or no-calorie beverages. 

  • Plain coffee or teas 
  • Sparkling or infused water 
  • Seltzers (unsweetened) 
  • Flavored waters (unsweetened) 
  • Water (of course!) 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention