It’s official: The Food and Drug Administration is recommending a daily cap on sugar for the first time, in the wake of studies linking sweeteners to the nation’s biggest killers.
Americans should limit added sugar to no more than 10 percent of daily calories, according to the proposed guidelines, The New York Times
For someone older than 3, that means eating no more than 12.5 teaspoons, or 50 grams, of it a day.
That’s about the same amount of sugar found in a can of soda, but for most Americans, simply giving up sugary soft drinks won’t be enough to meet the recommendations.
Sugar, honey, and high-fructose corn syrup are found in sodas, cookies and candy — but are also in many low-fat foods, yogurt, granola and wholegrain breads, as well as in ketchup, pasta sauce, canned fruit and prepared soups, salad dressings, and marinades.
“There is a lot of hidden sugar in our food supply, and it’s not just in sweets,” said Dr. Frank Hu, a member of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee and a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard.
For decades, fat was the primary dietary evil health experts targeted, with many suggesting it was the primary cause of the nation's rising obesity levels. But the latest nutritional research shows sugar is a far greater enemy of public health, and that some fats are even good for you.
Currently, nutrition labels on food packaging reveal only the sugar in a product. The FDA wants to change the labels so consumers distinguish between the amount of naturally occurring sugar and the amount of added sugar.
“When you see a yogurt with pictures of blueberries and strawberries on the label — right now there could be a teeny tiny amount of real fruit in there and an awful lot of added sugar, or lots of fruit and dairy and little added sugar, and the consumer cannot distinguish between the two,” said Susan Mayne, the director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA.
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