Know Your Limit for Added Sugars

Good nutrition is essential for keeping Americans healthy across the lifespan, but most of us do not have a healthy diet. Americans are eating and drinking too many added sugars.

What are added sugars?

Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. Naturally occurring sugars such as those in fruit or milk are not added sugars.

Added sugars have many different names. Examples of added sugars include brown sugar, cane juice, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit nectars, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose, malt syrup, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar, and sucrose.

What are the health consequences of too much sugar?

man hand holding lemon refresh drink can pouring sugar stream in sweet and calories content of soda and energy drinks

Added sugars contribute calories to your diet, but no essential nutrients. Eating and drinking too many added sugars makes it difficult to achieve a healthy eating pattern without taking in too many calories.

Too much sugar in your diet can lead to health problems such as weight gain and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

How much is too much?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people older than 2 years should keep sugars to less than 10% of their total daily calories [30.6MB]. For example, if an adult consumes 2,000 calories a day, no more than 200 calories should come from added sugars. Or, if toddlers consume 1,200 calories a day, no more than 120 calories should come from added sugars.

Children under 2 years old should not eat or drink any added sugars.

Make a Change

Sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugars in the American diet. Learn how to Rethink Your Drink.

Learn how to eat a healthy diet.

Connect with Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity