We tend to eat more sugars than we really should. That is why it is good to know how much sugar we can consume per day without posing a risk to our health.
Although you probably don’t know it, we actually eat more sugar every day than we should, and then in a certain sense would be advisable from a nutritional point of view. The reason is clear: many of the foods and food products that we eat daily have added sugars, even without knowing it.
And it is that we not only find added sugar in typical soft drinks or fruit juices. Also in other products such as sliced bread, hamburgers, sausages, packaged sauces, pre-cooked dishes … and even dairy products. The list, as we see, is quite extensive. And as you can imagine, the key is always to read food labels well (and know how to interpret them properly) before throwing them into the shopping cart.
The problem regarding the consumption of sugar in the current population is more than evident: the Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity has already warned on more than one occasion the worrying relationship that exists between the consumption of foods with added sugars and being overweight and the obesity. What’s more, cities like New York have already got to work, banning the sale of large soft drinks, while countries like France have introduced a special tax on sugary drinks.
And, going a little deeper, there are already scientific studies that put the effects of excessive sugar consumption almost on the same level as other equally harmful substances such as tobacco and alcohol. In fact, it is enough to discover a little about the consequences of its consumption for our health to realize it: excess weight (overweight and obesity), increased risk of diabetes and heart disease, accumulation and retention of fluids, dental cavities, premature aging of the skin…
At this point it is quite likely that you wonder how much sugar we could consume each day without posing a risk to our health. Although it is evident that the best and most appropriate thing is to try to reduce the consumption of foods with added sugars as much as possible (or add refined sugars to foods), opting only for those that already contain natural sugars (such as fruits, legumes or cereals), the World Health Organization (WHO) itself last year updated its health recommendations regarding the daily intake of sugar.
While in 2002 it advised limiting sugar consumption to 10% of the daily energy intake, in its new recommendations it advises limiting it to 5% of the daily caloric intake. To give you an idea, considering a typical diet of 2,000 kcal, that 5% would be just 100 kcal, so to provide those in the form of sugar, an amount of only 25 grams of sugar would be needed.
To get an idea of how little this amount of sugar would actually mean in our daily lives, just look at several examples: a simple tablespoon of tomato ketchup contains 4 grams of sugar, while a can of soda contains around to 40 grams of sugar. That is to say, simply by taking a can of soda we will be doubling the recommended amount of sugar consumption per day given by the WHO.
Therefore, responding to the question that this article is entitled, and more specifically taking into account that so far there are no nutritional or medical specifications about the exact servings of sugar per day, it is advisable to limit sugar consumption to 7 tablespoons of coffee per day (around 100 calories).
Taking into account what 25 grams of sugar would mean per day, the following data may surprise you: in 2013, daily sugar consumption per person was 63 grams! Indeed, we are facing a real problem.