How Much Sugar is Causing You Problems?

Rising Sugar Consumption Cause for Concern

Sugar consumption has risen by more than 30 percent for the past three decades. In 1977 sugar consumption averaged about 228 calories per day, but has since increased by 70 calories or more in 2009–2010. Even certain baby foods boost sugar to amounts higher than is considered healthy for children.

These added sugars do more than just drive young and old consumers toward developing a habitual sweet tooth. It increases the incidence of developing diabetes, hypoglycemia and other pre-diabetic conditions while greatly reducing nutrients the body needs to function properly. It also fuels chronic silent inflammation and additional diseases associated with visceral fat, adding to the obesity epidemic in this country.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends women eat no more than six teaspoons (20 grams) and men eat no more than nine teaspoons (36 grams) of sugar daily. For children, the AHA advises sugar consumption to not exceed 3 teaspoons (12 grams) per day.

The following chart gives you insights about the hidden sugars found in foods, to better help you monitor your intake and improve your health.

 Sugars (1 teaspoon = 4 grams sugar)

Minimizing your intake of foods high in sugar can help lower your risk of developing diabetes and other metabolic complications.

Food Group

Sugar Content of Certain Foods

Everyday products

6 oz. flavored yogurt (low fat) supplies 7 teaspoons of sugar

1 cup of Fruit Loops™ supplies 3.75 teaspoons of sugar

¼ cup (1 serving) of pancake syrup supplies 8 teaspoons of sugar

4 teaspoons of ketchup supplies 4 teaspoons of sugar

Foods that appear healthy, but are actually unhealthy

⅔ cup (1 serving) granola supplies 4 teaspoons of sugar

1 cup dried fruits supplies 21 teaspoons of sugar


8 oz. orange juice supplies 5.5 teaspoons of sugar

16 oz. of lemon iced tea or Snapple supplies 11.5 teaspoons of sugar

20 oz. Passion Fruitopia supplies 17.5 teaspoons of sugar

Snacks & Desserts

Balance Bar supplies approximately 5 teaspoons of sugar

21 oz. McDonald’s Vanilla Shake supplies 24 teaspoons of sugar

8 oz. frozen yogurt supplies 8.5 teaspoons of sugar

8 oz. restaurant chocolate cake supplies 13 teaspoons of sugar