Over the past year, dozens of documentaries, health articles, and opinion editorials have been released to promote awareness for the potential danger of sugar consumption. Some physicians have linked excess sugar with diabetes, obesity, and diabesity. Other health professionals go so far as to recommend ketogenic diets to drastically reduce intake of not just sugar, but also starches and complex carbohydrates that the body ultimately breaks down into glucose and fructose (both are sugar). To promote holistic health and reduce the incidence of tooth decay, Assure A Smile recommends families be aware of recommended daily sugar allowances as well as the most common sources of sugar.
How Much Sugar is Too Much?
Around the world, various public health organizations share similar opinion on what constitutes a “healthy” level of daily sugar consumption. In the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends the sugar be no more than 10% of daily caloric intake. That equals about 200 calories when following a 2,000 calorie diet. The American Heart Association recommends less, citing 5% or less as the optimal level for heart health and vitality. That equates to about 100 to 150 calories per day, assuming a diet that ranges from about 2,000 to 2,500 calories every day.
To calculate calories per grams of sugar, simply take the total number of grams and multiply by 4. For example:
10 grams of sugar x 4 = 40 calories from sugar.
Below are a few examples of everyday foods in which a single serving almost exceeds the daily recommendations for sugar set forth by the American Heart Association and Department of Health and Human Services:
Skim Milk: 11g = 44 calories
Apple juice: 26g = 104 calories*
Orange juice: 25g = 100 calories*
Grape juice: 31g = 124 calories*
Honey Nut Cheerios: 9g = 36 calories
Apple (raw fruit): 19g = 76 calories
Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal: 14g = 56 calories
Welch’s Fruit Snacks (1 bag): 11g = 44 calories
Chocolate Chip Cookies: 33g = 132 calories*
*Single servings that exceed 100 calories of sugar/day shown in bold.
Most Americans are shocked to learn the results of this simple calculation. Perhaps most surprising, drinks like fruit juice are excessively high in sugar, despite labels that mislead consumers into thinking “100% fruit juice” is a “healthy” part of a daily diet.
In an interview with The Guardian, Susan Jebb, head of the diet and obesity research group at the Medical Research Council’s Human Nutrition Research unit at Cambridge University, explains:
“Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit and it has as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks,” said Jebb, who has stopped drinking juice. “It is also absorbed very fast, so by the time it gets to your stomach your body doesn’t know whether it’s Coca-Cola or orange juice, frankly.”
Learn More About Sugar Toxicity
To learn more about the impact of sugar on oral health and total body wellness, contact Assure a Smile for a personalized holistic health consultation and comprehensive dental cleaning.