Written by Kris Gunnars, BSc — medically reviewed by Kim rose RDN, CDCES, CNSC, LD — updated on June 10, 2021

The excess intake of included sugar is linked with a selection of preventable conditions (1).

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It provides calories through no included nutrients and also can damages your line in the lengthy run.

But exactly how much is also much? can you eat a little bit of sugar every day without harm, or must you avoid it as much as possible?

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It’s an extremely important to do the difference between included sugars and also sugars that occur naturally in foods like fruits and vegetables.

These foods items contain water, fiber, and various micronutrients. Naturally arising sugars are absolutely fine, however the same does not apply to added sugar.

Added sugar is the key ingredient in candy and abundant in many processed foods, such together soft drinks and baked products.

The most common added sugars are regular table sugar (sucrose) and also high furustos corn syrup.

To optimize your health, execute your finest to avoid foodstuffs that contain added sugars. Even the diet Guidelines because that Americans recommends limiting calories from added sugars to less than 10 percent of total calories per day (2).

Also, remember that added sugars can additionally include natural sugars. For instance, if you add honey to her oatmeal, your oatmeal contains added sugar indigenous a natural source.


Sugar that’s added to processed foodstuffs is much more harmful to your wellness than the natural sugar in entirety foods choose fruits and vegetables.

Sugar usage is extremely high

In 2008, civilization in the United claims were consuming end 60 pounds (28 kg) of included sugar every year — and this go not encompass fruit juices (3).

The average intake was 76.7 grams every day, which equates to 19 teaspoons or 306 calories.

According to this study, sugar intake decreased by 23% between the year 2000 and also 2008, mainly due to the fact that people drank under sugar-sweetened beverages.

However, existing intake levels space still method too high and also likely haven’t adjusted much because then. In 2012, the mean adult intake was 77 grams every day (4).

Excess sugar usage has been linked with obesity, kind 2 diabetes, love disease, particular cancers, this decay, nonalcoholic fat liver disease, and more (5, 6, 7, 8).


Excessive street intake is common. It has been attached to various way of living diseases, including obesity, form 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer come this question. Some world can eat a most sugar there is no harm, if others need to avoid that as lot as possible.

According to the American heart Association (AHA), the maximum quantity of included sugars you should eat in a day are (9):

Men: 150 calories every day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons)Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons)

To put that into perspective, one 12-ounce (355-mL) have the right to of Coke includes 140 calorie from sugar, while a regular-sized Snickers bar includes 120 calorie from sugar.

In contrast, the united state dietary indict advise people to limit their intake to much less than 10% the their everyday calorie intake. Because that a person eating 2,000 calories every day, this would equal 50 grams of sugar, or about 12.5 teaspoons (10).

If you healthy and also active, these are reasonable recommendations. You’ll more than likely burn off these tiny amounts of sugar without them resulting in you any type of harm.

Still, it’s necessary to keep in mind that there’s no require for included sugars in the diet.


The American love Association advises males to obtain no an ext than 150 calorie from included sugar every day and women to gain no more than 100 calories.

Sugary, highly processed foods items stimulate the same locations in the brain as illegal drugs (11).

For this reason, sugar can reason people to lose manage over your consumption.

That said, sugar is not practically as addictive together illegal drugs, and also “sugar addiction” must be comparatively simple to overcome.

If you have a history of binge eating, failing to adhere to collection rules about your eating (like cheat meals or days), and also repeated failures through the “everything in moderation” approach, maybe you’re addicted.

In the same way that a smoker needs to stop cigarettes completely, who addicted to sugar might need to protect against sugar completely.


If you feel choose you’re addicted to added sugar, consider avoiding it completely.

Limit this foods, in stimulate of importance:

Fruit juices. Fruit juices save on computer the exact same amount of sugar as soft drinks. Select whole fruit or canned fruit v no added sweetening instead.Candies and sweets. try to limit your usage of sweets.Baked goods. These encompass cookies, cakes, and also pies, among other pastries. They often tend to be really high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.Low fat or diet foods. foods items that have had the fat eliminated from them are often very high in sugar.

Drink water rather of soda or juices and don’t include sugar to your coffee or tea.

Instead of sugar in recipes, friend can shot things like cinnamon, nutmeg, almond extract, vanilla, ginger, or lemon.

Try to be an imaginative and discover recipes online. You deserve to eat one endless range of remarkable foods even if you remove all sugar from your diet.

Natural, zero-calorie alternatives to sugar incorporate stevia and monk fruit.


Reduce your sugar intake by limiting soft drinks, fruit juice, candy, and also baked goods.

The best means to cut ago on street is come limit your intake of highly processed foods.

This strategy doesn’t call for math, calorie counting, or analysis food labels all the time.

However, if you’re simply unable to stick to unprocessed foodstuffs for jae won reasons, below are part tips on just how to make healthier choices:

Check the ingredient list. If the ingredient list of a packaged food consists of sugar in the very first 3 ingredient or an ext than one form of sugar, consider staying clear of it.Be mindful of “healthy” high sugar foods. know that other high sugar foodstuffs often labeling healthy fall into the exact same category. These include agave, honey, essential cane sugar, and coconut sugar.

You should think about reading nutrition labels. Even foods disguised as “health foods” can be invited with included sugars.

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If friend eat highly processed, packaged foods, preventing all included sugar deserve to be difficult. Make sure to review labels and be conscious that food producers often disguise added sugar using alternative names.