Adult Americans consume large amounts of sugar- on average, 77 grams per day! The recommended amounts are just a fraction of that; men should consume no more than 36 grams per day, and women, no more than 25 grams per day. The American Heart Association shares that in polls, Americans show a willingness to find healthier alternative to high-sugar foods, with 7/10 saying they’d want to work towards a healthier diet of lower sugar items. It’s a task easier said than done, however. Sugar is not just in soda, candy, and pastries. It’s in almost every processed food we eat- even some that are minimally processed, like some roasted nuts that people often reach to as a healthy snack.
Many yogurts, sauces, cereals, breads, and even canned soups contain surprisingly high amounts of sugar. Companies hit a deadline in 2021 to update their food labels to make it clear to consumers exactly how much sugar is in each item, with a distinction between total sugars and added sugars (see the image below for an example). Studies estimate that this small change could potentially prevent nearly 1 million cases of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes over the next two decades.
With so many people showing a willingness to make healthier food choices, it’s important to also highlight exactly how much of a positive impact it can make on the body to cut back on sugar. Today, we’re re-sharing some of our past posts that dive into how sugar impacts the body (including artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes), how to read between the lines when it comes to common food terms, as well as a more in-depth review of the food label changes that went into effect in 2021.