Today, the federal government issued its much-anticipated update to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For a read of the new guidelines, click here.
Most of the new guidelines sound familiar: eat more fruits and vegetables, consume more seafood and whole grains, and cut down on salt, refined grains, sodium, saturated fats, and trans fats.
One new recommendation stands out: we should limit added sugar consumption to no more than 10% of daily calories.
How much added sugar amounts to 10% of daily calories?
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, an average teenage boy needs about 2,200 to 3,200 calories per day and an average teenage girl needs about 1,800 to 2,400 calories per day. 10% limit for added sugar means a maximum of 220 to 320 daily calories from added sugar for teenage boys and a maximum of 180 to 240 daily calories from added sugar for teenage girls.
Let’s take a look at how many calories from added sugar a few common food items translate to:
So, plan your treats accordingly. When you tend to indulge your appetite, do a little math. There are a variety of healthy alternatives, such as water, whole grain snacks, fruits, vegetables, plain yogurt, nuts, seeds, etc. It may be hard at the beginning, but in the long run, a healthy eating habit will pay off.
Happy healthy eating!