Too sweet for your own good? Probably

Too much sugar is blamed for a variety of health problems including diabetes and obesity. Medical professionals advise us to enjoy added sugars in “moderation,” but how much is too much?

Guidelines recently established by the American Heart Association provide the answer: no more than 25 grams of added sugar a day for women; 37.5 grams for men. Both are less than what’s found in a 12 oz. can of soda. 

The key phrase is “added sugars,” says Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Because nutrition labels don’t distinguish between natural sugars – such as fructose in fruit – and the ones added in food processing, consumers need to scour the lists of ingredient lists for sugar content. 

“If sugar is listed as one of the top three ingredients, you know that most of the sugar in that food is coming from added sugar,” Ms. Sandon says.

Some common euphemisms for sugar include: brown sugar, corn sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, syrup and table sugar.

Visit to learn more about clinical services in nutrition at UT Southwestern.

Media Contact:">Kristen Holland Shear

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