The American Heart Association (AMA) issued a statement where it recommends that children between 2 and 18 years old should not consume over 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily, which corresponds to 8 ounces.

Added sugar comprehends any sugar, including fructose, honey, powdered sugar, and so on. The recommendation was published in the journal Circulation, alongside a study that proves how added sugars represent a cardiovascular risk factor for children as consumption is not correctly assessed.

The study advises that children under 2 years of age should not consume any added sugar whatsoever. Image Credit: Lisa Valder/E+/Getty Images

Being aware of sugar ingestion

Sugar is naturally present in any common diet. It is found in fruit and milk in its most natural presentation, but there is also sugar that people add to food while they eat or amid the product’s manufacturing procedure.

It has been highlighted that the most significant source of sugar intake is soft drinks. Most people drink sodas and energy drinks without assessing the colossal amounts of sugar that they possess. One can of Coca-Cola has 40 grams or 10 teaspoons of sugar, while one can of Redbull has 49 grams or 12 teaspoons of sugar. The American Heart Association says that men should not ingest more than 9 teaspoons per day, while women should not ingest more than 6 teaspoons per day.

Fruit drinks, cookies, dairy, milk products and even waffles are also major sources of sugar. Although it is not completely off-the-board to take a large amount of sugar for a day, partaking in the custom of buying a soda after work every day eventually adds up and takes a heavy toll on the body.

The human body does not need sugar to function. Sugar is not nutritive, although it may provide calories that can be useful to a certain extent. In any other case, sugar is a factor directly related to obesity, one of the main causes of heart disease.

The American Heart Association suggests that it is important to know how much sugar you’re ingesting on a daily basis, especially when trying to keep a watch on heart health.

To drastically reduce sugar intake, the AMA recommends disposing of table sugar, including honey and syrups. Adding sugar to cereals and coffee is one of the first steps in reducing sugar intake, as 54 percent of all Americans drink coffee first thing in the morning, whereas 65 percent of them add sugar to the mix.

It is also important to substitute sodas with low-calorie drinks, or water for that matter. The human body has more uses for water than it would have for any sugared or artificial drink. Increasing daily water intake is vital for having a healthy lifestyle, not just reducing daily sugar intake.

Eating fruit is also advisable. Adding fruit to cereal and pancakes instead of sugar will increase the meal’s flavor while reducing the overall amount of sugar. Dried fruit, such as raisins and cranberries, can be added to nearly anything, especially cereals, which tend to be a critical part of a child’s diet.

Source: Circulation