The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a recommendation to reduce added sugars to less than 10% of diet, and below 5%, if possible. That’s about 6 to 12 teaspoons daily. Naturally-occurring sugars in fruits, vegetables, and milk are excluded from this limit.
The recommendation is part of an effort to curb obesity in adults and children and prevent diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Strong scientific evidence shows that rising sugar intake is linked to increasing weight, which contributes to or exacerbates several conditions and diseases. Other research highlights the link between sugar intake and dental cavities.
In addition to candy and desserts, added sugars are hidden ingredients in many processed foods, even healthy-sounding ones, such as cereal and "fruit" drinks, such as fruitades and fruit punch. A tablespoon of ketchup contains about a teaspoon of sugar. A single can of non-diet soda contains up to 10 teaspoons.
Added sugars go by many different names. On an ingredient label, one can find sugar, honey, nectars, molasses, and syrups (including corn syrup). Less recognizable forms include: dextrose, fructose, sucrose, lactose and maltose.
Advise patients that the WHO sugar limit should be used in concert with other healthy diet guidelines, such as those that limit sodium and saturated fat.
New guidelines from the World Health Organization are enough to kill anyone’s sugar high. The U.N. health agency says the world is eating too much sugar and people should slash their intake to just six to 12 teaspoons per day — an amount that could be exceeded with a single can of soda.
So, put down that doughnut. And while you’re at it, skip the breakfast cereal, fruit juice, beer and ketchup.
The guidelines, released Wednesday, finalize draft advice first released last year and are focused on the added sugars in processed food, as well as those in honey, syrups and fruit juices. The advice does not apply to naturally occurring sugars in fruit, vegetables and milk, since those come with essential nutrients.