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Sugar: What's The Scoop On Sugar?

Updated on March 8, 2016
The Average American Eats 19.5 teaspoons of sugar every day.  There are about 20 sugar cubes in this picture.  Now, that's scary.
The Average American Eats 19.5 teaspoons of sugar every day. There are about 20 sugar cubes in this picture. Now, that's scary.

Sugar - It's in just about everything we eat. Sometimes it's called fructose, sucrose, glucose, corn syrup, dextrose, and that's just a few names. It's in soda, juice, bread...yes, bread, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Check the chart at the bottom of this page to see how much sugar is in everyday foods like Quaker Oatmeal To Go, KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce, Coke, Yoplait 99% fat free Yogurt, and more.

The average American drinks between 44 and 53 gallons of soda every year
The average American drinks between 44 and 53 gallons of soda every year

Why You Should Limit Your Intake Of Sugar

Sweet as can be, delicious, but dangerous. That's what sugar is. This is one of the most harmful things we can feed our body and most of us eat way too much of it these days. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tells us the average American (that's you and me) eats over 76 grams of sugar each and every day. That sounds like a lot, but how much is it really? 76 grams of sugar equals about 19 teaspoons!

How can we possibly eat that much sugar every day? It's easy to understand when you learn that this sweet stuff is in almost everything we eat. How much sugar is too much?

Those 19 teaspoons a day comes to about 66 pounds a sugar a year that each of us are eating. That's a crazy amount. The American Heart Association suggests that women eat no more than 6 teaspoons a day and men eat no more than 9. Even that sounds like too much to me, what do you think?

Sugar Average American Eats
Suggested Sugar Amount Per Day
The Sugar Difference
19.5 teaspoons
6 teaspoons for women
13.5 teaspoons
9 teaspoons for men
10.5 teaspoons
3-6 teaspoons for kids
16.5-13.5 teaspoons
Sugar has no nutritional value - no vitamins, no antioxidants, no nutrients
Sugar has no nutritional value - no vitamins, no antioxidants, no nutrients

What's Wrong With Sugar?

1. Sugar Has No Nutritional Value

There are no vitamins, minerals or antioxidants in refined sugars and that's a huge reason to avoid it. Nutrients are found in natural and healthy foods and these are essential to your body's health. Everything your body does depends on the vitamins and minerals you feed it with. They help your body to perform at it's optimum ability, they help your body to fight off illness, and they give your body the support it needs to carry on all it's functions every day.

When you eat too much refined sugars your body does not get the vitamins, antioxidants, or minerals it needs. This lack of necessary essentials can cause nutritional deficiencies. In turn, you will feel tired, and that will affect how you get through the day and can even lead to some very serious health issues.

2. It Disrupts Your Energy Levels

When sugar is quickly introduced into your bloodstream it causes a quick burst in your energy levels. Then there is a crash. A few minutes of increased energy may be great but when you do this all day long there is a negative impact on your body. These constant fluctuations in your energy levels are not the norm. This eventually will make it difficult to concentrate and can make you feel quite lethargic.

3. It Causes Weight Gain

Sugar passes very quickly through your digestive system and does not satisfy your appetite. On the other hand, proteins and fats take longer to digest and help satisfy your body's hnger cravings. What that means is after you have a sweet snack you will still crave more. You will, most likely, overeat.

Since sugar is a hidden ingredient in breads, sauces, and sodas, you will be adding extra calories to your diet without even realizing you are doing so, and you won't be satisfied. So what? That will help you to gain weight without even realizing it.

4. Sugar Causes Liver Damage

Fructose is one of the forms refined sugar comes in food as. Eating too much fructose can overload your liver and cause it to turn that fructose into fat. What happens then? The result could be anyone of a number of liver problems including fatty liver disease. Anything like this will certainly cause negative results that can lower your energy levels, interfere with your digestion process and affect your overall health.

5. It Causes Inflammation In The Body

Study after study have shown that when we ingest large amounts of refined sugar it can cause inflammation in our bodies. Excessive inflammation can cause damage to your cells and to our organs, all of which are vital to our well-being. Permanent health problems have been linked with this kind of inflammation, and so has internal and external aging. It also can become one of the most prominent factors behind chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and even heart disease.

Low Sugar Alternatives To Soda

Since soda is one of the most consumed source of hidden sugars in our diet...a single can of soda can have 33 grams of sugar, you would be smart to switch this drink with one of these healthier alternatives:

1. Fruit Juice Spritzers
2. Green Smoothies
3. Fruit Infused Water
4. Fruit Tea
5. Coffee

Soda alternative - fruit tea
Soda alternative - fruit tea

The Benefits Of Quitting Sugar

You've read about the dangers of refined sugars, now here are some benefits you will see when you cut down on the amount of sugar you eat everyday.

1. Enhanced Energy Levels
2. Younger Looking Skin
3. Easier Weight Loss
4. Better Sleep
5. Stronger Immunity

Weight loss will be one of the benefits you will see once you lower your intake of refined sugars
Weight loss will be one of the benefits you will see once you lower your intake of refined sugars

What Sweetener Do You Use?

Which of these caloric or noncaloric sweeteners do you use?

See results

26 Sweeteners

  • Here is a list of sweeteners in three different sections. One is Caloric Sweeteners, One is Artificial Sweeteners, and the third is Sugar Alcohols/Polyols. Caloric Sweeteners have calories, artificial sweeteners are usually low or no calorie, and Sugar Alcohols/Polyols are usually less sweet and have less calories than refined sugars. 1

Caloric Sweeteners include:

  • Dextrose
  • Glucose Syrup
  • Crystalline Fructose
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Fruit Juice Concentrates
  • Maltodextrin
  • Trehalose
  • Stevia

Artificial Sweeteners include:

  • Saccharin
  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame-K
  • Sucralose
  • Neotame

Sugar Alcohols / Polyols include:

  • Sorbitol
  • Mannitol
  • Xylitol
  • Erythritol
  • D-Tagatose
  • Isomalt (Palatinat)
  • Lacititol
  • Maltitol
  • HSH Hydrogenated Starch Hydroslsates, Maltito
  • Glycerol
  • Polydextrose

Artificial Sweeteners (Not Yet Approved by FDA)

  • Alitame
  • Cyclamates
  • Neohesperdine
  • Thaumatin

Refined Sugar Crystals
Refined Sugar Crystals

So What Do You Think?

Are you surprised at the amount of sugar that is in our foods or did you already know? Have you already started to limit the amount of sugar you and your family eat everyday? Anything is okay in moderation and most of us probably thought we were eating much smaller amounts of sweeteners than we are.

When I think of how much sugar I use I think of how much I put into my coffee. It did not occur to me that the BBQ Sauce I used, or the Oatmeal I ate for breakfast, was more than enough to put me over the suggested daily limit already. We have got to change our eating habits to avoid health problems, weight problems, and the tiredness that comes along with having too much refined sugar in our diets.

Sugar - Good or Bad?

Look How Much Sugar Is In These Products

Amount of Sugar
20 Oz Bottle of Coke
65 grams
Hostess Ho Hos
42 grams
Quaker Oatmeal to Go
12-19 grams
KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce
12-13 grams
SoBe Energy or Elixir
50 grams
Yoplait Original 99% fat free
27-31 grams
Skinny Cow Low-fat Ice Cream Cone
19 grams
Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil Sauce
12 grams

Learn the Facts about Sugar - How Sugar Impacts your Health

Read Those Nutritional Labels On Your Food

Agave nectar

Barbados Sugar (Raw)

Barley malt

Beet sugar

Blackstrap molasses

Brown sugar

Buttered syrup

Cane crystals

Cane juice crystals

Cane sugar


Carob syrup

Castor sugar

Confectioner’s sugar

Corn syrup

Corn sweetener

Corn syrup solids

Crystalline fructose

Date sugar

Demerara Sugar




Diastatic malt



Evaporated cane juice

Ethyl maltol

Florida Chrystals

Free Flowing


Fruit juice

Fruit juice concentrate



Glucose solids

Golden sugar

Golden syrup

Granulated sugar

Grape sugar

Grape juice concentrate


High-fructose corn Syrup


Icing sugar

Invert sugar


Malt syrup




Maple syrup


Muscovado sugar

Organic raw sugar


Powdered sugar

Raw sugar

Refiner’s syrup

Rice Syrup


Sorghum syrup



Syrup Syrup

Table sugar


Turbinado sugar

Yellow sugar

I got the list above from

and the list higher up on the page from (1)


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