How Much Added Sugar Can I Consume?

Dietary guidelines say less than 10% of calories from added sugars.

Each of the Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating meal plans includes 3 meals per day that have been properly calculated by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to follow the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Heart Association Guidelines for added sugars. We have worked hard to ensure we are well below their guidelines to help our customers' overall health.

There are two types of sugars in the diet, added sugars and naturally occurring sugars. Foods that have too many added sugars offer no nutritional benefits and provide empty calories that lead to weight gain. These types of foods should be limited as much as possible, especially for those with or at risk for diabetes. Americans are eating and drinking too many added sugars, which can contribute to health problems such as weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Naturally-occurring sugars are not bad in moderation and our bodies use them as a main energy source. There is no recommendation for natural sugars consumed per day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which would contribute a good amount of naturally occurring sugars and has been proven to contribute to good health. Natural sugars are found in fruits and dairy products and offer vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. 

The way our bodies metabolize naturally occurring sugar is different than how it metabolizes added sugars. Our bodies break down added sugars quickly, causing a quick spike in insulin and blood sugar. We often feel less full on foods with added sugar too. The fiber and nutrients in foods with naturally occurring sugar are digested much slower, leading to feeling fuller with fewer calories and slowing down the rise in blood sugar.

At Seattle Sutton’s you can have confidence in the food that you are eating as our meal plans average to 4-4.5% added sugars. Again, our meals do contain naturally occurring sugars, but most of them are derived from fresh fruits and dairy products, giving your body the necessary vitamins and minerals it needs to function properly. We pair foods that have a small amount of added sugar with nutrient-rich food, providing a healthy and balanced diet that won't impact weight gain.

Averages of added sugar per day:

1200 calorie traditional plan: 52 calories 
1500 calorie vegetarian plan: 68 calories 
2000 calorie traditional plan: 84 calories

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Is Sugar Bad for You?

Sugar and Heart Disease Link

Blood Sugar Highs and Lows