Answer: The equivalent of 1,767,900 Skittles. No joke. How is this possible? To start, we live in an altered food landscape. Sugar sweetened beverages and processed foods with added sugars fill the shelves of grocery stores nationwide. But life wasn't always so sweet. In 1822, the average American consumed 45g of sugar every 5 days (equivalent to 1 can of soda). In 2012, we consumed 765g sugar every 5 days (equivalent to 17 cans of soda). The average American now consumes 3 lbs of sugar each week, that's 3550 pounds in a lifetime. That is equal to 1,767,900 skittles! Told you I wasn't kidding. Refined sugar is linked to diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It lacks vitamins, minerals, and fiber compared to complex carbohydrates. Soft drinks, candy, sugar, cakes, cookies, and pies are big culprits.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 9.5 teaspoons (~40 grams) of added sugar per day.
- Whole grains
- Legumes & beans
- Refined grains
- Soda, juice, sugar sweetened beverages
- Concentrated sweets (e.g. candies, cookies, pastries, baked goods)