How much sugar per day for weight loss and optimal health

I am going to talk about how much sugar per day for weight loss and optimal health.

At first, I’d like to say that there are many different types of sugar. Certain foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, coconuts and sweet potatoes do contain natural sugars.

Those natural sugars are fine to eat, except maybe for those who are very overweight or diabetic and would probably do best by limiting those too.

When I am referring to sugar, I am talking about the “regular kind”. Table sugar, sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, corn sugar or whatever.
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High fructose corn syrup is essentially the same as regular sugar.

For more info on the different types of sugar, then check out this article.

How many grams of sugar per day are recommended?

It is a fact that sugar consumption has increased dramatically in the past few decades, and at the same time diseases like diabetes, obesity and others have advanced at an alarming rate.

According to the USDA, sugar consumption increased by 43 pounds per person, or 39 percent, from the years 1950-1959 until the year 2000. That year, the average person consumed 152 pounds of sugar.

Sources claim that current daily sugar consumption in America is about 87 grams per day (350cal, 17.4tsp), and according to a USDA report in 2010, the average child consumes 365 calories of added sugar per day, or 91 gram (18.2 tsp).

During this time, obesity rates in both children and adults have skyrocketed, and I think one of the main reasons for that is excess sugar consumption.
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How many grams of sugar per day are recommended?

  • The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends: 37 grams for men (150 cal, 7.4tsp) and 25 grams for women (100 cal, 5tsp).
  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends: 32 grams (128cal, 6.4tsp) for a 2000 calorie diet.
  • The American Diabetes Association (ADA) doesn’t provide specific guidelines but claims that it can be substituted for other carbohydrate sources, in moderation.

How much sugar per day I suggest

Most nutrition and health authorities recommend limiting sugar.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you will know that I think sugar is addictive, much like other substances of abuse.

For people who have a hard time controlling sugar cravings, and are unable to clean up their diet, I recommend eliminating sugar.

If you’re not a junk food and sugar addict, then it’s okay to have some when the social circumstances call for it, for example on birthdays and Christmas.

There is no physical need for added sugar and when eaten in large amounts it makes people sick and unhealthy.

It is addictive, leads to cravings and overeating, rots your teeth, makes your breath bad, increases body fat, leads to type II diabetes, heart disease, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

Personally, I think overweight people could lose a decent amount of weight simply by eliminating sugar, which includes ALL types of added sugar including those labeled as corn syrups.

So, my personal opinion on how much sugar per day is none.

And that doesn’t include pigging out on cheat days 1-2 times per week.

It’s like any other poison, nicotine for example.

A tiny little bit ain’t gonna kill you, but none at all is obviously the best choice.


 

83 Comments

  1. The target should be simply zero sugar of any kind, any time. Some is going to slip in anyway. Try a bit of coconut oil to add flavor to replace sugars. Artificial sweeteners also drive up insulin short term, so they should also be avoided. Sugar drives dopamine and/or serotonin, therefore is mildly chemically addicting.

    If you want to kick sugar addiction, get off it and stay off it. Period. Then get off wheat, and all high caloric density grains. They are addicting through endorphin production and opioid substitution.

  2. Hey fredt, thanks for the comment :)

    • We Don’t wan’t opinions , At least I don’t. You never said how many grams per day you can have of sugar and still have weight loss?

  3. What are your thoughts on all natural low-calorie sweetener such as Stevia?

    • This Personal Trainer/ Nutritionist (Sean Croxton) I interviewed for this Sugar Project I am doing. He recommends Stevia. It’s actually has been used by Japan for over 3 decades. He wrote a book called The Dark Side of Weight Loss and has a Youtube channel called youtube.com/undergroundwellness . I found out a LOT from him and his videos.

  4. Hello Ray,

    to be honest I haven’t done a lot of research on artificial sweeteners and I never use them myself. The little I have read about Stevia seems to be positive though.

    This is a good article: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/stevia/

    Thanks for commenting :)

  5. I would think that a person who is very active could easily get by with consuming more grams of sugar than a sedentary person right? For example, I either swim, bike, or run every day and I lift 4-5 times a week on top of that. I love being active and I’ll eat 3 chocolate chip cookies for dessert after supper while watching TV and not give it a second thought. But, I don’t eat more than 3 and I don’t eat cookies during the day either. I eat a lot of fruit though, which would be more sugars.

    • Hello Jake,
      That would be a legitimate argument if we were referring to carbohydrates but this is sugar and its negative implications go beyond just empty calories, even if you burn them off. Experts are starting to call sugar “toxic” because it harms your immune system and makes your body more prone to illness. They’ve even linked it to some forms of cancer. We’re finding out more and more about it and it’s not looking good. I find though, that the less sugar I eat it, the less I crave it. I did a sugar fast for a week and by the end, I stopped noticing because it was no longer a burden.
      As far as what Kris said about the natural sugars in fruit, he is right, they’re not negative like artificial sugars. However, consuming a lot, like drinking a gallon of fruit juice a day, is adding much more sugar and calories than you need. So unless you’re doing a juice cleanse, I wouldn’t recommend only drinking juice.

  6. Hello Jake,

    you are definitely right. All of this depends on the individual, if you exercise a lot, are not overweight and generally healthy then I don’t see a problem with consuming a little bit of sugar, and the natural sugars in fruit are absolutely fine.

  7. Hello Kris,

    I am overweight and have been losing the pounds because I have completely cut out all sugar except for that in milk, fruit, and vegetables (I call them natural sugars?) but I noticed you said:

    “Personally, I think overweight people could lose a decent amount of weight simply by eliminating sugar, which includes ALL types of added sugar including those labeled as corn syrups.
    So, my personal opinion on how much sugar per day is none.”

    This troubles me because (in moderation) I used things like fruit and yogurt to beat the candy and junk sugar cravings. So do you think I should cut out fruit and etc. as well to continue droppings the pounds rapidly?

    thank you!

  8. Hello Annie,

    I do make a distinction between natural sugar and added sugar.

    Added sugar includes sucrose, high fructose corn syrup and some other forms, but the natural sugars found in fruit, milk and other food sources is perfectly fine to eat in my opinion.

    If you are still losing weight, then I suggest you keep doing what you are already doing. Fruit and yogurt are usually pretty healthy foods. If you happen to stall and stop losing weight at some point, then it may be a good idea to cut back on carbs in general, especially those from grains and wheat.

  9. Hi Kris,

    I thought that your post was interesting and would like to share my recent experience.

    Over the past 3 to 4 months I have been working on reducing my consumption of added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and all other processed foods. I have adopted a diet of almost exclusively whole foods (grains, oats, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables, fruit, and eggs). I just got to a point where I felt disgusted by modern society and consuming (by consuming I mean both food and products). I felt that a shift in my eating habits is something that I have the most control over. Since I can’t just pick up and leave society, to which I have given thought, I feel that food is a reasonable place to focus my attention. Over the past month I have gotten to the point where I only allow myself 1 or 2 cheat meals per week. I also have initiated a practice of drinking water or tea whenever I get hungry and have found that my body has been fooling me all these years. Most of the time I am really just thirsty. This new eating plan that I have adopted has resulted in the loss of about 25 pounds. I have also gone from a tight fitting size 36 pants to a comfortable size 32. I had no intention of doing this to lose weight. I was comfortable before starting this plan. However, now that I have dropped the weight, I feel better than I ever did before. Almost every day I have 2 servings of plain (traditional) oatmeal and a large salad that consists of cabbage, carrot, sprouted lentils, and peanuts. I sometimes include chick peas, broccoli, onion, and other veggies.

    I do, what I consider, light exercise daily. My exercise consists of a 2-mile brisk walk, push-ups until fail (which now is 50 or more – when I started I failed at about 7) and sit-ups until fail (which is also more than 50 – when I started I failed at about 18). I started this exercise regimen around the same time as the eating plan.

    If you have any comment or criticism of what I am doing I am interested in feedback. I also take a multi-vitamin and calcium supplement.

    Thanks,

  10. Hey Craig,

    congratulations on those results, always fun to read such great success stories :)

    Your plan seems to be working very well for you so I would just keep on doing what you are doing now.

    The only thing I could think of adding is Vitamin D3 and K2, they are definitely far more important than Calcium supplements which don’t really work. Vitamin D won’t be necessary though if you get a decent amount of sun year round.

    And perhaps add a good source of Omega-3 such as fish oil, fish or Omega-3 enriched eggs.

  11. Hi Kris,

    Just wanted to say I have been struggling to break my “sugar” habit for some time. I think I am finally having some success by substituting fresh fruits and fresh fruit smoothies and yogurt that I add fresh fruit and nuts to myself instead of my old ice cream treat that I used to indulge in. I take it one day at a time. I only need to lose about five pounds. It was seven so I guess I am having a little success. I bought a pair of Nordic walking poles and am anxious to start using them. I do walk and lift weights and have a good overall diet consuming mostly organic foods. I truly have been “addicted to ice cream though for some time, but I think I am getting much better. I am down to organic sorbet bars, 60 calories each. But I even want to get away from those as they contain 13 grams of sugar. But I am going in the right direction. I am in very good health and very active for a senior citizen. I no longer order desserts in a restaurant, bring my own tea and salad dressing and skip the bread. I was occasionally using Agave nectar, but have read some negative things about it so am now using a little organic date sugar occasionally or will use Stevia if necessary. I would like to know what you think of Agave. Also, if you have any ideas about breaking the sugar addiction I would be very grateful if you would share them.

    Thanks.

    Lenice

  12. Hello Lenice,

    Congratulations on your success so far. Personally I am not very fond of Agave, and I treat it pretty much the same as sugar and I believe it is just as bad for health. I think Stevia would be a better choice, although I haven’t done much research on it.

    Regarding sugar addiction, I recommend you download the free report in the sidebar to the right. It contains pretty detailed information on food addiction.

  13. Hello Kris,

    If there were a Betty Ford for sugar, I’d get the next ticket there if I could. Since there isn’t, I’m trying to kick my sugar addiction on my own. I don’t need to lose weight (I’m 5’6″, 120 lbs) and I work out, but my sugar addiction just bugs me. I’m failing miserably at my attempts to go cold turkey though. How do you feel about honey? Is it in the same category as sugar?

    Thanks for your help.

    My name is Meredith and I’m a sugar addict…

  14. Hello Meredith and thanks for the comment.

    Honey is better than sugar, but I would still put it in the same category. If you’re able to tolerate it without bingeing, then I’d say eat it every now and then. If it leads to overeating and subsequent cravings, then it’s probably better to avoid it altogether.

    • Thanks Kris. Bingeing and overeating isn’t the problem. It’s that I can’t drink coffee or tea without sweetness and I need coffee or tea in the morning (just one cup). I find that I put just as much honey in my tea as I did sugar in my coffee. The trade off is a mocha with 26 grams of sugar versus 16 oz of tea with 32g of sugar in the form of honey. I can give up all other sugar but that but I kind of feel like a heroin addict who is just asking for permission to have some heroin with breakfast if I stave off it the rest of the day. :-) Is trying Stevia the answer and lowering my dose until I wean myself off? Aren’t I pathetic? Like I said before…Betty Ford…Betty Ford…

      • Hey Meredith, I wouldn’t worry about a 100 calories of sugar every morning. It’s not that big of a deal and it sure doesn’t seem like it is effecting your health :)

      • Toronto Girl says:

        Hey there! I have always had HUGE sugar cravings, and for until VERY recently I could not imagine coffee or tea without sweetening. It just seemed impossible to enjoy them without sugar or honey.

        One day I just stopped putting it in coffee and pushed through discomfort the first couple of times. In very little time I just stopped expecting sweetness with coffee.

        With tea, I one day I treated myself to carefully picking a blend I really liked, then when I drank it with no sweetener I really focused on enjoying the luxury of its aroma.

        I recommend my approach because I really had very little self control with my sugar obsession, yet once I quit cold turkey it was pretty easy.

        A HUGE factor for my success is that I substituted the pleasure of tasting sugar, for the proud feeling of self-control to deny myself, plus the excitement for results. When I do something hard for my health/figure, I go into this psychological state of “I am so fabulously self restrained, strong, healthy and lady-like”

        Lol those are my two cents.

  15. Hey Kris,

    I am trying to lose weight and just started keeping a food diary. Already I’ve noticed that my sugar is really high and its only after lunch. I’ve had 50g of sugar, but noticed that 19g came from a banana. 1. Does that seem accurate? 2. Is sugar that comes from fruit any better or less damaging for you than sugar from sweets?

    Thanks!

  16. Steve,
    that sound about right. A banana might contain about 20-25g of carbs, pretty much all from sugar. The sugar from fruit is definitely better than what comes from sweets, but if you are trying to lose weight then I recommend keeping an eye on all carbs.

    Avoiding refined sugar and wheat is most important, but if your weight loss stalls then it might be a good idea to avoid other starches too (potatoes, oats, etc.) and limiting fruit to 1-2 pieces per day.

    • Why is wheat so bad? I think I suffer from low blood sugar and I read to eat whole grain or wheat to stabilize blood sugar levels. What do you think?

  17. Kris, I have a question. I am not considered overweight by definition, but am 15 pounds heavier than I have been my entire life. I run & lift weights on a regular basis. I also become hypoglycemic during the day & when that happens, I CRAVE sugar. There is no doubt that over the years I have increased my sugar consumption, in part because I feel so crappy when I have these “hypoglycemic” episodes, but I also like sugar. I know sugar is why I am 15# heavier than I want to be. Any suggestion on how to get off the sugar without adding to the low blood sugar episodes?

  18. Hello Dana,
    my recommendation would be to try out a diet that is reduced in carbohydrates, ditch the sugar and wheat and focus on foods that are higher in fat and protein. Get your carbs from fruit and vegetables, and perhaps some oats, rice or other healthier grains.

    Your body is capable of producing the blood sugar it needs. I’ve experienced these hypoglycemic episodes myself and cutting carbs completely eliminated them. You might feel a little weird in the first few days when your body is adjusting, but you should feel better when that is over.

    You should take a look at these articles here:
    http://www.kriskris.com/worst-foods-to-eat/
    http://www.kriskris.com/foods-to-eat-to-lose-weight/

  19. Hello, Kris. I have been having a problem with my sugar habit. I am a vegetarian who is still fighting the battle of being overweight. (I’m 145lbs and 5’2″). I have lost a significant amount of weight over the years, but these last few pounds have been so pesky to get rid of. I am aiming to lose about 10-15 more pounds and feel as if cutting my sugar cravings will give me the jump start that I need. I do use Stevia as a subsitute for sweetner, but, I just am curious as to what NOT to eat. 25g of sugar ONLY per day seems a bit farfetch’d….

    Thank you in advance,
    Kai.

  20. Hello Kai, the comment above yours pretty much sums up what I recommend for people not to eat.

    It’s easy to stay within 25-40g of added sugar if you stay away from candy bars, soft drinks and most processed foods and don’t add sugar to your food. The natural sugars will be impossible to avoid and that’s not the point here.

    Anyways, I’m a little out of my comfort zone here because I don’t really know much about vegetarian/vegan diets. Low-carb is what works best for weight loss, scientifically proven. If you can eat eggs, nuts, high-fat dairy, avocados, etc. instead of some of the sugar/grains you eat then that should help a lot.

  21. Hello,

    I am 29. I used to be very active. I played sports in high school and i was a calvary scout in the army for 4 years right after high school. After the service, I went to college and for two years i was obsessed with looking like arnold (circa 1979). Eventually reality set in and i began to focus on graduate school and law school. While weight training i went from a lean 225 to 250. After I quit training i kept gaining weight (315). I never look fat, just really big. But i felt like crap. When i got that big i was drinking three 16 ounce cokes a day, about 2 liters of coffre with sugar and cream, and my diet consisted of about for unhealthy meals a day. I am down to 240 now, on a 2000 calorie diet. One thing i did was cut back on sugar. Still i drink about 20 cups of tea, each with 4 grams of sugar. I find that it keeps my appetite in check. Though it is bothersome because u have to work hard to keep my teet healthy. But i feel great. You already mentioned that sugar consumption is dependent on lifestyle. Do you think my consumption is sustainable? I weight train in the morning for two hours and play basketball for 2 hours a day.

  22. I just wanted to say thank you for this information. I was looking for info on sugar cravings and really feel like it’s an addiction similar to drugs or alcohol! I’m 35 and on a never ending battle with obesity and feel like I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m going to try and cut out sugar as my starting point (on this diet since I’ve been on so many)and see what happens!

  23. Hi, I was just wondering if you could reccomend how many grams of natural sugars we should be limiting ourselves to each day. It’s easy to find out about refined sugars but I get really confused about naturally occuring sugars. Thanks heaps!

  24. I have recently been diagnosed as “pre-diabetic”. I know I need to cut down on sugar, exercise, and lose weight. Sugar is definitely my biggest challenge. I am wondering how many total grams of sugar (natural and added) I should aim for each day? I’ve heard everything from 15-32, and not sure if this is for both types combined, or just for added sugars.

    • That 15-32 gram number is most definitely referring to added sugar, not natural.

      But… if you’re pre-diabetic then I personally would try to reduce all sources of carbohydrate, both simple (sugars) and complex (starch).

      You should really check out this website: http://www.diabetes-warrior.net/

      This guy is a drug and insulin free type II diabetic, and you can’t go wrong doing what he does. I highly recommend you check out his site and see what he has to say.

      Low-carb is, in my opinion, the best way to treat diabetes, despite what many health professionals might say.

      You should read this article too: http://www.kriskris.com/dietetic-board-battles/

    • Hugh Tauerner says:

      If you’re pre-diabetic, your best bet is to give up *all* added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Especially HCFS which is worse than table sugar because of its high fructose content and the way the body metabolises fructose vs. glucose.

      Ideally, as a pre-diabetic, you should consider the Paleo/Primal diet which is low in carbs overall. At the very least, reduce your carb intake to around 50g/day.

      I was given a pre-diabetic diagnosis about 23 years ago. Without any advice other than my own common sense, I reduced (but did not eliminate) my sugar and carb consumption and remained pre-diabetic for about 14 years. However, not having any scientific evidence to back my theories up, combined with the low fat/high carb advice pedalled to diabetics, I let my carb consumption rise to the point where I was diagnosed as diabetic 7 years ago. Now I’m back on the low carb lifestyle and my blood glucose is controlled, I feel better both physically and emotionally, and I’m losing weight.

    • Debi,

      Kris asked me to jump in. I am going to share two posts with you.

      1) Is a food journal post I wrote and while I no longer consistently food journal, these numbers remain in a consistent range. I NEVER eat ‘added sugar’, per this post I eat 22 grams of total carbs, @ 7 grams of fiber (all water soluble).
      http://www.diabetes-warrior.net/2010/09/29/diabetic-meal-plan-food-journal/

      2) Here is a post I recently wrote on how to lower your blood sugars… there is quick and quicker. :)

      http://www.diabetes-warrior.net/2012/02/17/reader-question-how-to-reduce-high-blood-sugars/

      http://www.diabetes-warrior.net/2010/09/29/diabetic-meal-plan-food-journal/

  25. One more question….should I be concerned about the sugar in milk? I drink skim, but at 12 gr per cup, I’m not sure I should drink any kind! I would say that it’s ok because it is “naturally occuring”, but it’s still sugar. I appreciate all your help; I feel like I’m drowning in info, but not sure how to use it!

    • If I was in your shoes (pre-diabetic) I wouldn’t drink milk due to the carb content.

      Cheese, cream, butter are all fine, as they contain almost no carbs.

    • Hello again Debi! :)

      I just wanted to say… you should listen to Kris, he knows what he’s talking about. :)

      I do not drink milk due to the carbs/sugars. :)

  26. Kris,Steve, and Hugh – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate, and how helpful all your feedback is! I am definitely cutting out milk, and making other changes based on your recommendations as well. I hate feeling out of control and not knowing what to do, so this is really my lifeline to getting myself on track. Thank you all so much!!!

  27. I have always been skinny but started weight training about a year ago to build strength and gain muscle definition. Usually about 90 pounds, (I’m 5’0 tall) I decided to gain 20 pounds arounds the same time that a took a contraceptive, (depo provera) the shot lasts three months and seriously slows down your metabolism. Now I’m sporting a bit of a gut and want it off right away.

    I’ve maintained the body builder’s diet of 50% protein and 50% carbs but I really want to lose the stomach fat fast. Can I maintain this diet and the body building routine and still burn fat or should I just be focusing on cutting out the carbs and losing the weight first? Today is my first day off the contraceptive.

    • I’m afraid I don’t have a clear answer for you. Cutting out some of the carbs should help you lose weight, but if you reduce them too much it may effect your exercise performance in the short term.

      • A friend of yours and fellow fitness fanatic sent me a chart breakdown of their low-carb diet. They don’t eat anymore than 22 grams of carbs a day. I tried it for two days and think I’m far too active to eat that little carbs but about 30-40 grams will do. Thanks for sending their advice my way.

  28. I am trying to lose weight and one of the things I’m trying to do is not buy any packaged food where sugar (or some derivative) is in the first 3 ingredients. This is working pretty well however I have found some foods where this impossible. One of the foods that has a lot of added sugar is yogurt. Some of the greek ones use cane juice but from what I have read that is just the same thing. So I’m wondering why there are so many people here recommending yogurt to reduce added sugar intake. Another food that is suprising to me is fiber bars. Again, cane juice seems to be the sugar added but its still sugar. Can anyone recommend a fiber bar made without sugar, sugar derivative or sugar substitute?

    • Hello Nancy, the solution here would be to stay away from (or minimize) packaged foods. Not all yogurts have added sugar, and I don’t know about fiber bars.

  29. I read more than a few times in the comments section “stay away from wheat”. I have cut all bread from my diet but rarely when I have to eat a pizza or falafel sandwich due to peer pressure or lack of alternatives i order a whole wheat crust/pita. Are you saying that whole wheat is also bad? And i do understand the elimination of carbs but humans need energy. Can chicken (protein), 100% natural fruit juices (sugars), maybe even daily vitamins, totally replace carbs?

  30. Hello Said, eating wheat every now and then shouldn’t be a big problem unless it causes you problems. No wheat is better than whole wheat, and refined wheat is the worst.

    Elimination of carbs is not a good idea unless you’re doing it for health reasons (diabetes, epilepsy, etc). 100-150 grams per day should be fine for most people.

    I don’t recommend fruit juices, they’re too heavy in sugar. And sugar is a carb (the worst carb). Fat and protein can also provide energy.

  31. Hello,

    I just began eliminating all added sugars in my diet. I have a history of addiction with drugs and alcohol and I have been “sober” for two years. I used quotations on the “sober” part because I have noticed the same patterns and cravings with sugar that I had with other substances. I would definitely feel the “sugar high” when I would say, eat a whole box of girl scout cookies or two bowls of cereal. I have recently been learning about the addictive qualities of sugar and I am amazed on how much better I feel already (3 days deep) without sugar. My cravings are intense, especially for cake, cookies or cereal in the evenings. I have been having small amounts of fresh fruit smoothies in their place that I make myself and it seems to help. I stumbled upon your blog and I really find it inspiring and helpful to read the information and the comments from others.

    Thanks

    John

  32. I have been drinking unsweetened Almond milk with sugar-free flavored syrup mixed in it. It satisfies my sweets craving. Only 35 calories per cup and no sugar, only 1 gram carbs. You can find the flavored syrups usually in the coffee aisle at the store. Two brands that I use are DaVinci and Torani. I use chocolate and raspberry. Tastes fantastic and, like I said, satisfies my sweets craving. The raspberry is great in iced tea as well.

  33. If the target amount of sugar is only 25 g for women, but an apple already contains about 12 an orange about 10 gramms of sugar. Does that mean that I can eat only a limited amount of fruit (which I usually eat a lot) and nothing else that contains sugar to stay in the daily recommended amount?? That would be super hard since I usually eat my yoghurt and drink my tea with honey, other than that I eat nothing but fruits.. Help? I’m confused..

    • The target amount applies to “added” sugar and corn syrup. That is, the sugar you find in many processed foods, candies, sodas and junk foods.

      However, if you eat nothing but fruit, then it may be a problem due to the high fructose content. I recommend getting the majority of your calories from other sources.

      If you’re interested, take a look at this article: http://www.kriskris.com/foods-to-eat-to-lose-weight/

  34. I know everyone is talking about wheat and non-gluten diets. what are food that contain gluten and do you agree they are bad for most folks? Ive been trying to figure out why Ive had stomach pains alot recently and eating very healthy except I consume “vitamin water”…which has 34 grams of sugar per bottle so I now am eliminating that drink and going back to my water and non sweet tea only diet …

  35. What about for hypoglycemic people? I used to not have any sugar. I wont even eat bananas or fruit with high sugar. Now I have to walk around carrying a candy bar in my bag so I don’t pass out despite the fact that I eat six clean meals a day. I have gone from 128 to 114 and am really close to reaching that 105-108 goal. I work out six days a week and rarely have a drink or a cheat. Now I am struggling with this whole low sugar and feel like I’m going to gain weight. What sugar foods can I eat that will keep my sugar levels in check. I’m trying to add some sugar in my coffee or add small amounts throughout the day but don’t want to get addicted to sugar. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • This is really something you should discuss with your doctor.

      Low glycemic index carbs are definitely a million times better for you than added sugar.

  36. Hello,
    This information has been very helpful. Wondering about sugar in a Snapple drink. That is my weakness, I love my Snapple. I don’t ever use sugar on anything, of course I realize it’s in just about everything though. I am careful with my carbs, eat protein and fruits and vegetables, but need to increase those. I am a vegetarian as well, trying to figure out my way around that as I do not eat seafood either. Overall, healthy, would love to lose 10-15 pounds to feel healthier overall. Getting back to my walking, I do about 5 miles/hour daily. Just started weight strengthening and feel much better.
    My one thing I cannot break, but will i fit is horrible for me, is my Raspberry Snapple. I cannot drink diet anything, it affects me greatly. I do not drink anything else, water and Snapple, no pop, coffee, liquor or beer (extremely occasionally).
    If you tell me Snapple is not good, I will be sure to say goodbye to it if it will keep me healthier.
    Appreciate your great advice to everyone.
    Joan

    • Well it is pretty high in sugar, and sugar is very unhealthy.

      Whether it is doing you harm is difficult for me to tell. It partly depends on your lifestyle and genetics, and how much you drink.

      Seeing that you’re slightly concerned about your weight, then cutting it out would probably be the right thing to do.

  37. julie michalaki says:

    Hello,
    Thank you for the article I found it very interesting. I wanted to share that I have managed to kick my terrible sugar habit. I found that one teaspoon of local unprocessed honey a day, somehow, stops all sugar cravings. I now eat one teaspoon every morning, and have found that my afternoon cravings for sweet stuff has completely gone! I have no idea of the science of why it helps, I started to eat the honey because I read that it is full of enzymes and can help keep my heart healthy. The fact that my craving for anything synthetically sweet, has gone, is a really welcome side-effect! I have also lost inches as a result, from my waist which believe me, is a miracle.

  38. How do you feel about agave nectar? I drink small portions of Lifeway kefir every morning.

    Each portion is 3.5 oz and contains 60 calories 10 grams of sugar. I read the ingredient list and it is sweetened with agave nectar.

    I am trying to lose weight. I am 5”2 and weigh 280 pounds. I trying to stick to a 1500 calorie diet, low in carbs and in fat. I started 2 weeks ago and I am down 10 pounds from 290 lbs. I am working out 4 times a week for 2 hours.
    Any advice?

  39. Hi Kris,
    I have a question. I have read that your body does not “register” sugar if you eat less than 5 Grams at a time. Is this true? I have been trying to follow that guideline. I am not trying to lose weight, just be healthier. I am 53 years old, 5’1, and weigh 114. Thanks for your input.

  40. Hello, just wondering if un-sweetened almond milk is good for you? I have fibromylgia and i was told regular milk is no good? Also in your opinion . is drinking one cup of starbucks (single packs) ok to drink? It has 12 grams of sugar per serving. Thank you!

    • I suppose the almond milk is okay, but it may be pretty high on calories so you should watch your amount.

      I would avoid all coffee with sugar in it. Black coffee is best.

  41. Kris,
    I’ve enjoyed reading all the comments here. I started a lifestyle of eating less than 15 grams of sugar (from natural food sources) and less than 120 grams of unrefined carbs per day, with high protein and some fat. Also I drink about 100 oz of water. The first week I lost 8 pounds but the last four days, nothing. I’m getting a bit worried that I’m doing something wrong. Usually my carb amount is under 100 and it’s from Ezekial bread and whole wheat or raspberries or nuts. Just wondering what you think.

    • Kristjan says:

      It’s normal to lose a lot of weight in the first week, it’s mostly water.

      Weight tends to fluctuate, the trend can be going downwards even though you might not lose weight consistently every day. I wouldn’t worry about it just now.

      I’d recommend avoiding/minimizing wheat though as personally I think it is the second most fattening thing in the modern diet, after sugar.

      • Thank you for responding.Your comments are reassuring. I’ll minimize wheat but can you explain why it is so fattening? I thought that complex carbs with 3 or more grams of fiber would be good for me.The Ezekial bread has no suger either. Thanks again!

  42. Samantha says:

    Kris, I was absolutely shocked by the ’87g of sugar a day’ estimate. Is that total sugar or just added sugar? (If it’s only counting added sugar, I’m even more shocked!) I’m in the UK, but I wouldn’t imagine our typical sugar consumption’s much different/better than the US.

    My total sugar is about 45g a day; I would guess the added sugar is 10g or less (from peanut butter… I think some of the sugar in that is added). Am I doing well on this? My fruit weakness is bananas, which I know are quite high in sugar. Total carbs are about 100g a day.

  43. Esther Hamilton says:

    I have an app on my phone that tells me all the nutrients I need per day (it goes right along with what you stated 25-30g sugar/day). The thing is…I ALWAYS GO OVER! I eat so healthy. I haven’t had soda for years, and don’t eat other goodies except on special occasions. But I’m vegetarian, so my diet always has a lot of fruits and veggies in it and they’re exceptionally high in sugar.
    SO my question is: Is sugar sugar no matter what? Or are some types of sugar worse than others? Because I can eat a peach, 3 carrots, and a pear and be way over.
    Thanks!

  44. Hi Khris I have a question for you. I am a total sugar addict. I recently made the jump and cut ALL processed sugars out. The only sugars I am getting are naturally occuring like in bananas and oats etc. I’ve been limiting my fruits, but don’t want to cut them all out since they are so great for fiber and other good stuff.

    Today is day 5 of no sugar and I’m SOOO proud and actually feeling great except for 1 slip up where I didn’t eat anything with sugars and almost passed out (hypoglycemic and know better) So anyways….are natural sugars ok? Will I still loose weight and get healthy with them? The hypoglycemia makes me crave sweets SOOOO bad and having a frozen banana at night has been what has kept me from turning to ice cream! LOL! HELP! What is a heathy amount of naturally occuring sugar?

  45. James Pyle says:

    Uh, what about Fruits and Milk and such that has sugar. I eat completely clean (well as I can) and I have about 100g of sugar just from Dairy, Fruits..

    Is this too much ? I am trying to lose weight (though not much) and am doing Insanity. (You may have already answered this if so I apologize)

    • This article applies to added sugars, such as sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.

      It’s impossible for me to say whether this amount of natural sugars is or isn’t too much for you to lose weight, it depends on the individual. If you’re losing weight on your current diet then it isn’t too much.

      Generally, I recommend going under 100g per day of total carbs for weight loss.

  46. Shearill Brown says:

    Kris,

    I am a fitness consultant that helps many people all over the world. I tell my clients nutrition is 80% and the rest is easy. I want to say you are doing an amazing job with great answers to these questions. Keep up the blessings.

  47. Hi Kris,

    I am a 50-something lady, normal weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol but my triglycerides are high. I work out vigorously six times a week and my only “added” sugar is a teaspoon of organic agave in my (herbal) tea twice a day. I don’t drink alcohol, eat candy, and am strictly gluten-free, by necessity. Any suggestions to lower my triglycerides?

  48. Hi I’m Rohit Banwani I do not use sugar in coffee and tea but i eat fruits like pears, oranges , grapes and apples, watermelon which is rich in sugar so it will affect to my health or i will increase my weight automatically?? or is it ok for body

  49. Do the daily sugar consumption recommendations from the AHA and the USDA include natural sugars? Because if they don’t it seems a little unrealistic. Just one large fuji apple has 22g of sugar.

  50. So you’re saying 0 grams of sugar a day? That’s not even possible. Fruits have natural sugar in them so are we just supposed to cut all of that out? I’m confused.

  51. High fructose corn syrup is processed different in the liver and effects insulin.Expect to gain more weight with HFCS…Your body metabolizes it differently.

    If one person drinks tea with regular cane sugar and one drinks Pepsi with HFCS-The tea drinker will always lose more…

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