How much sugar is healthy per day and what is the upper limit for children and adults?
Sometimes a small biscuit, sometimes a chocolate and in between a glass of juice: Nowadays we like to sweeten our lives. And children are known to look forward to sweets a lot. Everyone knows that excessive consumption of sugary foods can have negative consequences for our health. Obesity, diabetes and tooth decay can be How much sugar is still okay a day, and where is the upper limit for children and adults? Is there any healthy sugar at all? We try to find the answer to these and other questions.
How much sugar can you eat per day?
Most processed foods taste good, but contain far too much sugar. And it has negative effects on our body. In the short term, excessive consumption can make us listless and tired, in the long term it can lead to stomach problems and sleep disorders, among other things. Those who consume too much sugar are also more susceptible to bacteria, fungi and viruses. The immune system is weakened by an unhealthy diet and can no longer properly protect the body. The increased sugar consumption quickly leads to obesity. The more sugar you eat every day, the more hormone insulin your body releases. The increased insulin production could lead to type 2 diabetes. People who like to eat a lot of sweets are also at risk from cardiovascular diseases. The brain also suffers in the long term, because it forms new nerve cells much more slowly.
But sugar doesn't just have negative effects on our bodies. A hundred years ago it was used to heal wounds. Our grandmothers made jam with a lot of sugar because it has excellent preservation properties. The right amount of sugar can also promote concentration.
So whether it is harmful or healthy for us and how many grams of sugar we can eat each day are complicated questions. The answer mainly depends on the type of sugar. There are three types of sugar: glucose, fructose and lactose.
An overview of the types of sugar: glucose, lactose, fructose and table sugar
1. Glucose, popularly known as glucose, is found in fruits such as apples, apricots, bananas, grapes, in vegetables such as carrots, peppers, onions and in cereals such as corn. It is also obtained industrially from corn starch by hydrolysis. An adult's blood contains an average of 100 mg of glucose per 100 ml of blood. Our body needs two teaspoons of glucose daily for the brain and nervous system to function properly. For this purpose, he usually processes bread, potatoes, pasta, as well as fruits and vegetables with a high glucose content into energy. This then supplies important organs. If too much glucose is produced, the excess is stored in the cells. It is a popular sweetener and humectant.
2. Lactose is also called milk sugar. As the name suggests, dairy products such as cheese, curd cheese or yogurt contain lactose. But ready meals like pizza and ready-made sauces can also have a high lactose content. As a rule, 12 g of milk sugar per day are considered to be tolerable. In some people, however, the lack of the enzyme lactase arises with increasing age. Those affected cannot convert the lactose into glucose and process it further. Lactose-intolerant patients should keep milk consumption to a minimum, but yogurt is considered safe.
3. Fructose is found in many fruits. It is considered harmless and can be easily processed by the body as long as it is not processed industrially. The sugar in fruits and vegetables is considered unproblematic. On the other hand, it is not advisable to eat packaged sweets with a high fructose content on a daily basis.
4. But things are different with table sugar (sucrose), which consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. According to the statistics, an adult in Germany consumes over 30 kg of table sugar annually. This is very problematic because a lot of glucose and fructose get into our blood and cells of the most important organs. The consequences are terrifying: more and more people are developing fatty liver and diabetes. Then most people ask themselves: “How much sugar can a person eat each day?”
How much sugar can a person eat each day?
But where is the upper limit for daily sugar consumption and how much sugar is too much? The World Health Organization strongly recommends limiting daily consumption. Those who want to stay healthy should not consume more than 6 tsp (25 g) a day. This also includes table sugar, which is contained in various industrially processed foods. Thus, the maximum sugar content in the diet is set at 5%. The recommendation applies above all to table sugar, fructose and glucose, which are often used to sweeten foods, desserts, sweets, instant foods and beverages.
How much sugar is too much according to the German Nutrition Society?
The German Society for Nutrition and the German Diabetes Society recommend not to exceed the daily consumption of 50 g of table sugar. All in all, sugar in any form should not cover more than ten percent of the daily energy requirement. At the moment, however, the situation is different for both adults and children. Because women consume around forty and men – thirty percent more than the recommended maximum. In children, the percentage of sugar is an astonishing 75%, well above the daily limit.
Confectionery is the main supplier of sugar, and around a third of the household sugar intake is due to packaged sweets. Juices and drinks make up around 1/5 of the daily sugar intake. We explain how much sugar is in the different foods.
How much sugar does 1 liter of cola have? One liter of cola contains 106 grams of sugar, which is around 35 cubes of sugar. Incidentally, Coca Cola has now changed the recipe and already contains 4 cubes of sugar less. Soft drinks like Fanta or Sprite still contain 90 grams of sugar per 1 liter. Surprisingly, juices contain a lot of sugar. Consumers should also read the label carefully for nectars, because up to 200 g of sugar per liter is permitted by law. That is twice as much sugar cubes as with the soft drinks! Incidentally, the iced tea also contains a surprising amount of sugar – up to 28 cubes of sugar per liter. A 1 L bottle of lemonade contains 26 cubes of sugar.
How much sugar can a child eat per day?
Nowadays, it is clear to all parents that the packaged candy and most soft drinks are unhealthy due to the high sugar content. But how much sugar can a child eat per day? The sugar that children eat when they eat fruit, milk and vegetables is considered safe.
How much sugar for toddlers: At best, one-year-olds should not consume more than 13 grams of sugar. Children between the ages of 2 and 3 should not exceed the upper limit of 17 grams of sugar a day. Infants between 4 and 6 years old should not eat more than 23 grams a day.
Parents who want to stick to this should read the labels of fruit juice drinks and breakfast cereals, among other things, because these foods are considered to be true calorie bombs.
Why is sugar unhealthy for children?
Children love sweets and there is unfortunately no explanation for the parents. But it is still important to explain to children why sugar is unhealthy, even though it tastes so good. Some tricks can help parents of toddlers with the task.
For babies and toddlers up to three years old it often helps if the fruits and vegetables are nicely arranged on the plate. The more colorful and imaginative the better. At this age, it is also advisable to prepare iced tea and juices yourself. So the parents can control the sugar content at any time.
The candy box is ideal for toddlers between the ages of 4 and 6. The goal is to train them to better use confectionery. The family meets once a week and each child fills their box with seven portions of candy. Then the child can eat something during the week, whenever he wants. The candy box quickly gets empty in the first few weeks, but after a month most children start to spread the candy over the days of the coming week.
Children in elementary school can put different sweets on plates with their parents and print the sugar content next to it with lump sugar. Then the parents can ask the child to eat several sweets. After the snack break, everyone can calculate how much sugar the child has consumed.
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