Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How Many Grams of Sugar Should I Eat?

Dear Laurie,
I have been reading articles on sugar and I know it should come from natural sources like fruit, veg and oats etc. but would like to know the exact percentage of sugar (of all kinds) recommended for weight loss. I will be following a 1400 calorie diet for weight loss, so how many grams a day of sugar should I eat?  Anne M.

Hi Anne,
First of all there is a difference between "sugar" and "carbohydrates", the latter of which turn to sugar after you eat them. The benefit of getting sugar from fruit instead of from candy, is that fruit also gives you valuable nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Gram for gram, you get the same calories from table sugar or an orange, as carbohydrates in potatoes or bread.

There isn't really sugar in oats or vegetables, but the starchy vegetables  (like peas and corn) and grains contain carbohydrates which break down to sugar after digestion.

The recommendations for carbohydrates are to contribute about 45-55% of your calories. This means about 700 calories of your 1400 calorie diet should be from carbs (700 calories/4 calories per gram = 175 grams per day).

Refined and added sugars are not necessary (for instance, jelly, sweetened cereals, soft drinks, pies and cakes) and will add calories to your diet without nutrition. These foods all have a place in the diet (in moderation) but are best to be avoided when you're trying to lose weight.

Check out for recommendations and tools to help you follow a balanced diet. If you choose the right number of servings from all the food groups, you won't have to bother calculating every gram you eat--which will make eating healthy a whole lot easier!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info! I just watched a video called "Sugar, the Bitter Truth" that is eye-opening.