You might be surprised to know how much sugar you are consuming every day

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- How much sugar are you consuming every day? In the U.S., we consumer on average 22 teaspoons of added sugars a day. Dietitian Tatiana Castellino explains why it's not always easy to spot sugar on the label.

Sugar Facts:

  • The average American consumes at least 64 pounds of sugar per year, and the average teenage boy at least 109 pounds
  • Consumption of added sugars has risen by 28 percent since 1983
  • Americans consume 22 teaspoons of added sugars a day, teens 34 teaspoons

Sugar enhances flavor, promotes browning and aids in preservation; however, the high sugar content in foods comes with a trade-off. Excessive sugar intake can lead to type 2 Diabetes, contribute to metabolic syndrome and lead to excessive weight gain.

  • Naturally Occurring Sugars
    • Fiber-rich carbohydrates: vegetables, fruits, grains, and milk
    • Accompanied by many nutrients
  • Added Sugars
    • Candy, soft drinks, cookies, pies, cakes, added sugars and syrups
    • Contribute calories but few, if any, nutrients             

If a manufacturer wants to sweeten up a certain brand of crackers, it can either do this using 15 grams of "sugar" or, 5 grams of "malt syrup," 5 grams of "invert sugar" and 5 grams of "glucose". Some manufacturers seem to be choosing this divide and masquerade method, placing these ingredients lower down on their products' lists, making us believe that the amount of sugar in the product is smaller than it is.

The USDA Food Guide suggests:

  • 3 tsp for 1,600 calorie diet
  • 5 tsp for 1,800 calorie diet
  • 8 tsp for 2,000 calorie diet
  • 9 tsp for 2,200 calorie diet
  • 12 tsp for 2,400 calorie diet

Hidden Sugars:

    • Beverages
    • Cereals/Granola Bars
    • Yogurt
    • Peanut butter & Jelly
    • “Reduced Fat” products
    • Ketchup/Barbeque Sauce
    • Spaghetti Sauce
    • Salad Dressing
    • Relish/Sweet pickles
    • Alcoholic Beverages (wine, coolers, mixed drinks)



Sugar” may be listed by any of these names on the ingredient list:

    • Sucrose
    • Fructose
    • Maltose
    • Dextrose
    • Lactose
    • Galactose
    • Honey
    • Syrup
    • Maple syrup
    • Corn syrup (solids)
    • Corn sweeteners
    • Molasses
    • Fruit juice concentrates
    • Dextrin or maltodextrin
    • Barley malt
    • Malt syrup
    • Sorghum syrup
    • Turbinado
    • Beet sugar
    • Brown sugar
    • Date sugar
    • Cane Juice (dehydrated, evaporated, solids, crystals)