Don’t get sabotaged by sweeteners. Even seemingly healthy foods like yogurt, cereal and energy bars can be crammed with added sugar. Most Americans get more than 22 teaspoons (88 grams) of added sugar a day. That’s almost three times the amount recommended by the USDA.
Guidelines recommend no more than 8 teaspoons, or 32 grams, of sugar for a 2,000-calorie diet. Even if you don’t indulge in soda or junk food, it’s easy to reach your limit from processed and packaged foods. Flavored yogurts, for instance, can contain up to 21 grams of sugar in a single serving. Other sugar shockers include whole-grain cereals, which may have up to 17 grams of sugar, and condiments like spaghetti and barbecue sauce, routinely contain 15 grams of sugar per serving.
Whenever possible, go the unsweetened or unflavored route and add your own sweetener instead. A packet of honey, by comparison, has only 11 grams of sugar and is loaded with healthful antioxidants whereas refined table sugar has none.