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While the occasional sweet treat is something to appreciate, regular consumption of foods and beverages that are high in added sugars may result in or contribute to issues like dental cavities and weight gain for both children and adults. 

How much added sugar should we consume per day? 

·      Children (2 years and older): 6 teaspoons or 25 grams per day

·      Women:  6 teaspoons or 25 grams per day

·      Men: 9 teaspoons or 36 grams per day

What foods have added sugar? 

Added sugar can be found in many products, but the biggest culprits are often quite obvious: candy, cookies, cakes, other baked goods, ice cream and sugar-sweetened beverages (sodas, sweet tea, kombucha, juice drinks, smoothies). Other products that might have surprising amounts of added sugar include cereals and condiments. 

What does “added sugar” mean? 

You should see a line below “carbohydrates” on the Nutrition Facts panel that will indicate grams of “added sugar” that is added to the item when processing it. For example, many breakfast cereals contain added sugar to sweeten the whole grain flakes. 

 While sugar is an umbrella term, it is important to realize that added sugar isn’t just white or brown granulated sugar but also includes honey, molasses, high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup and concentrated fruit juices. 

How can I reduce added sugars? 

·      Compare items on the shelf and select ones with a lower amount of added sugar.

·      Use non-caloric sweeteners to sweeten beverages like tea and coffee.

·      Reduce portion sizes of foods and beverages that have added sugar – consider them a treat and not an everyday staple. 

·      Instead of sweetened desserts, have fresh, canned or frozen fruit with no added sugar or sweetener. Enjoy sweetened desserts as an occasional treat. 

For more information, visit https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sugar/added-sugars.

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