Controlling Your Daily Intake of Added Sugar

Medically reviewed in September 2021

How much added sugar can you have without blowing a healthy eating plan?

If you want to ward off excess pounds and heart disease, heart experts recommend you use this simple cap: 100 calories. That's about how many calories' worth of added sugar you should limit yourself to each day in order to follow your healthy eating plan.

Sugar Overload
Actually, it's 100 calories for women, 150 for men (lucky fellas). And an "added sugar" would be any sugar that's been added to foods or beverages during processing or preparation, be it sweetened yogurts, cereals, or candies. Unfortunately, most Americans get about 430 calories of added sugar daily—enough extra to easily contribute to the growing pandemic of obesity and cardiovascular disease.

The Sweet Solution
So what does 100 mean in real-world terms? About a can of cola, actually. A 12-ounce can of sweetened soda has roughly 130 calories of added sugars. That means if you have a can of ginger ale, you've hit—or more likely passed—your daily limit. So use those discretionary calories wisely. And don't let them crowd out the nutritious things in your healthy eating plan, like fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

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