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Reduce Sugar Intake: How to Stay Within the American Heart Association’s Recommended Limits

Too much sugar can be incredibly dangerous for the human body, and yet the average American adult consumes between 22 and 30 teaspoons of added sugar per day, according to the American Heart Association. Women and children should only be eating about six teaspoons (25 grams) of sugar a day and men’s intake should be slightly higher, at nine teaspoons (36 grams). This amount of added sugar is equivalent to the amount found in an average 12-ounce can of soda.

Added sugar is often hidden in processed foods, making it difficult to tell how much sugar you’re actually consuming. The American Heart Association recommends six teaspoons (24 grams) of added sugar daily for women and eight teaspoons (30 grams) daily for men. However, most Americans consume around 17 teaspoons of sugar each day.[0] When you factor in just one sugary snack or beverage, such as a 12-ounce can of soda, you’re looking at more than 10 teaspoons of added sugar.

Overeating sugar can lead to certain symptoms such as fatigue, cramps, and stomach pain.[1] Eating too much sugar can also make you more prone to cravings and hunger. To help keep your sugar intake at a healthy level, it is important to be conscious of added sugars, even in foods that would otherwise be considered healthy such as apricot or agave nectar.[2] High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is also a type of added sugar to watch out for in foods.[3] Eating a balanced diet and avoiding skipping meals can also help to reduce sugar cravings.[2]

0. “Why is sugar so addictive?” FOX 17 West Michigan News, 16 Mar. 2023,

1. “I’m a nutritionist – the 6 warning signs that you need to cut back on sugar and why your sweet tooth is har…” The US Sun, 13 Mar. 2023,

2. “How To Break Your Sugar Addiction” Health Essentials, 17 Mar. 2023,

3. “Tips for avoiding added sugar in food you eat” Weekly Citizen, 7 Mar. 2023,

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