The S Word: Sugar - How Much is Too Much?

Sweet, sweet, not so sweet Sugar. It’s top of mind for most parents these days with a plethora of research indicating risks of everything from obesity to cardiac health, cognitive function and psychological well being.  

Current recommendations from both the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that kids between the ages of 2 and 18 should consume no more 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of added sugar per day (under age two they recommend no added sugar at all). There’s also a balancing act between sugar and fiber, which can help lower the risk of diabetes as well as increasing fullness cues.  Occurring naturally in fruits and vegetables, look for a ratio of less than 10 grams of sugar to 5 or more grams of fiber in other foods. 

We love these Cleveland Clinic tips for making your own healthy snacks where you can control the amount and type of sugar you use as well as how to train, and untrain, taste buds and habits when it comes to sweeter foods. Teaching kids to listen to their innate satiety and reserve sweet treats for truly special, shared occasions are life lessons most of us parents could benefit from too. After all, the AHA recommendation for women is actually the same as kids while men get only a few extra teaspoons.
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