Why It's Time, Once and For All, to Cut Back on Sugar

Katie Sweeney

The New York Times  is reporting on new dietary regulations from the Food and Drug Administration: For the first time ever, the FDA is recommending a daily cap on sugar. “The goal is for Americans to limit added sugar to no more than 10 percent of daily calories, according to the proposed guidelines. For someone older than 3, that means eating no more than 12.5 teaspoons, or 50 grams, of it a day,” explains Roni Caryn Rabin. New label requirements will allow consumers to tell how much sugar is added to a food item verses how much sugar naturally occurs in the product. This is important because “added sugars represent empty calories, devoid of nutrients. While milk and fruit contain natural sugars, they are nutrient-dense foods that provide calcium, protein, vitamins or dietary fiber.”

Sugar is found in obvious food and drinks, like cookies, candies, and soda, but it's also added to foods that have a certain health appeal, like granola, low-fat yogurt, and wholegrain bread. Other items that have high amounts of added sugar: pasta sauce, canned fruit, prepared soups, salad dressings, and ketchup. Under the proposed cap, Americans should consume no more than 12.5 teaspoons of added sugar per day—that amount of sugar can be found in a single can of Coke, so for many people cutting back on sugar is going to be a difficult task. 

Swap a sugar-loaded drink for a glass of sparkling water. Add fresh citrus and plenty of ice for a refreshing, sugar-free libation.

How do you feel about the sugar cap? 

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