Sugar, ahh, Honey, Honey

Have you seen the movie Fed Up yet? After watching it last year, I started paying attention to how much added sugars were in the foods that I eat. Last month, I tracked the amount of added and artificial sugar* I consumed during an average workweek (Monday – Friday) and counted the added sugar in things like:

  • Jams
  • Peanut/almond butter
  • Fage yogurt
  • Breads/grains/cereal/granola
  • Canned beans
  • Non-dairy creamer
  • Sweets

Here is a picture of my weekly sugar intake:

Snack-size baggies with teaspoons of the amount of added sugar eaten each day.

Every 4 grams of sugar on a nutrition label is equal to 1 teaspoon of refined white sugar. After 5 days of tracking, I was averaging about 9 teaspoons of sugar each day**. Not horrible, but also not the recommended amount.

How much sugar is recommended? The World Health Organization (WHO) says adults should consume on average no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. The American Heart Association recommends 6 – 9 teaspoons a day.

How much sugar do most people consume? Sources vary; one states: “In 2012, Americans consumed an average of 765 grams of sugar every 5 days, or 130 pounds each year.” (That’s about 38 teaspoons per day.) Another states: Americans eat about 20 teaspoons of sugar a day according to a report from the 2005–10 NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) database. 

Actually seeing the sugar in those baggies made things more tangible and made me want to take action. That’s what prompted me to finally do the 10 Day Sugar Free Challenge. I looked at a few different blogs for inspiration and recipes to follow. I liked the info I found here. We (the hubby and I) are doing what I’m calling a “Modified Plan A” version of the rules. I’ll be posting pictures of what we ate and links to the recipes we tried soon!



* According to Fed Up, our bodies’ process all sugars the same, including lactose. I love milk, and I personally don’t think lactose is that bad for me, so I chose to exclude it from this count. 

** Because I was tracking my intake, I was hyper-conscious about how much sugar I was consuming, so I may have erred on the side of lower-than-normal-intake that week. But, it still provided a good insight on how much hidden sugar I was eating on any given day!