What is the daily limit of added sugars recommended by the usda?

What is the daily limit of added sugars recommended by the usda?

Total Sugars include sugars naturally present in many nutritious foods and beverages, such as sugar in milk and fruits as well as any added sugars that may be present in the product. There is no Daily Value* for total sugars because no recommendation has been made for the total amount to eat in a day.

2. Added Sugars

Added sugars include sugars that are added during the processing of foods (such as sucrose or dextrose), foods packaged as sweeteners (such as table sugar), sugars from syrups and honey, and sugars from concentrated fruit or vegetable juices. They do not include naturally occurring sugars that are found in milk, fruits, and vegetables. The Daily Value for added sugars is 50 grams per day based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet.

For most Americans, the main sources of added sugars are sugar-sweetened beverages, baked goods, desserts, and sweets.

What is the daily limit of added sugars recommended by the usda?

*The Daily Values are reference amounts (in grams, milligrams, or micrograms) of nutrients to consume or not to exceed each day.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting calories from added sugars to less than 10 percent of total calories per day. For example, if you consume a 2,000 calorie daily diet, that would be 200 calories or 50 grams of added sugars per day. Consuming too much added sugars can make it difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is including added sugars on the Nutrition Facts label so that you can make informed choices, based on your individual needs and preferences.

How Will Added Sugars Be Listed on the Nutrition Facts Label?

Labels for foods and beverages with added sugars will list the number of grams and the percent Daily Value (%DV) for added sugars within the Nutrition Facts label.

Having the word “includes” before added sugars on the label indicates that added sugars are included in the number of grams of total sugars in the product.

For example, a container of yogurt with added sweeteners, might list:

What is the daily limit of added sugars recommended by the usda?

This means one serving of the product has 7 grams of added sugars and 8 grams of naturally occurring sugars – for a total of 15 grams of sugar. The 7g of added sugars represents 14% of the Daily Value for added sugars.


Labels on packages and containers of single-ingredient sugars and syrups such as table sugar, maple syrup, or honey will list the percent Daily Value for added sugars within the Nutrition Facts label, and the gram amount per serving and %DV may be included in a footnote. Single-ingredient sugars and syrups are labeled in this way so that it does not look like more sugars have been added to the product and to ensure that consumers have information about how a serving of these products contributes to the Daily Value for added sugars and to their total diet.

Single-Ingredient Sugars and Syrups Sample Label

What is the daily limit of added sugars recommended by the usda?

Let the Nutrition Facts Label Be Your Guide

The new Nutrition Facts label can help you compare and choose foods that are lower in added sugars.

Check the label to see if foods are LOW or HIGH in added sugars.

  • 5% DV or less is a LOW source of added sugars
  • 20% DV or more is a HIGH source of added sugars

Do I Need to Give Up Added Sugars?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that a limited amount of added sugars can be included as part of an overall healthy eating pattern that includes healthy choices from each of the MyPlate food groups (vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein foods). It is important to remember that added sugars is just one piece of information on the label. Looking at the ingredient list and reading all the information on the Nutrition Facts label can help you make the most informed choices.


What is the daily limit of added sugars recommended by the usda?

The Question of Sugar
What is the daily limit of added sugars recommended by the usda?

By Susan Raatz

There is a debate raging about the role of sugar in today's diet and its relationship to disease. 

There are those who say that sugar is ruining the nation's health, that it is a primary dietary evil leading to obesity and related diseases.  Recently, researchers from the University of California-San Francisco claimed that sugar is essentially a toxin that causes all sorts of lifestyle diseases, including hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. They proposed that sugar be regulated like tobacco and alcohol with taxes on sugary products, age limits applied to certain foods and beverages, and restrictions on advertising (especially on ads targeted to kids). They also argued that sugar is addictive.

Can sugar really be addictive? The FDA defines addiction as craving for and continued use of a substance that is hazardous to your well being.  Researchers from the University of Minnesota found that sugary foods cause-in the brains of animals-a chemical effect similar to that of addictive drugs like cocaine.  Whether this response constitutes addiction in the technical sense is still debated.  What is clear, however, is that people have a hard time giving up sweets.  That may be rooted in a combination of nostalgia (the memory of mom's cookies baking), habit (always having something for dessert) and chemical attraction (the releases of feel good chemicals in your brain). 

We consume large amounts of sugar.  The average American eats (or drinks) 34 teaspoons of sugars a day, which is equal to 500+ calories.  This averages more than 100 pounds of sugars per person each year.  Sugar intake has drastically increased over the last century.  In 1822, the average American ate in 5 days the amount of sugar found in one of today's 12-ounce sodas. Now, we eat that much every 7 hours! 

Sugar intake doesn't just come from cake, candy, or sugar added to your tea. Almost all processed foods in the supermarket contain extra sugar.  In fact, a large number of sugars are used in processed foods, so that reading food labels can be confusing. Some of the worst offenders are sodas (which can contain as much as 10 teaspoons per can) and many "low fat" products.

High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has replaced sucrose (sugar) in many of the food products that you purchase. HFCS is a mixture of two simple sugars: glucose and fructose, which is similar to the composition of sucrose.  This sweetener is only sold for processed foods; yet, it provides about 8% of the total calories in the American diet. Some scientists contend that HFCS contributes to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Others reject this hypothesis citing weak evidence for such effects.

Sugar contains calories and only calories; it provides no other nutrients - no protein, no vitamins and no minerals. When sugar calories replace more nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, your whole diet (and, maybe, your health) suffers. 

Anthropologists tell us that we like sweetness for a reason.  Sweet foods are generally safe source of calories - something that has been important to survival throughout most of history.  Today, with an ample supply of safe food, the appeal of sweetness is no longer protective.  Most people must work to keep their caloric intakes at healthful levels. 

So how do you keep your sugar consumption at healthy levels? The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults get no more than 10 teaspoons of sugar a day - a third of the current average. Uncovering all the sugar in your diet isn't easy. Sugar often hides under several names and turns up in foods you wouldn't suspect, like bread, crackers, salad dressing, ketchup and light mayonnaise.  The following tips will help reduce the total sugar intakes of both you and your family-while still enjoying sweetness.

  • Serve smaller portions of sweets and desserts so you can still enjoy these foods.
  • Switch to unsweetened beverages like water, 100% juice or low-fat milk products instead of sugar-laden sodas and juice drinks.
  • Avoid impulse buying of sugary foods in checkout lines.
  • Don't offer sweet foods as a reward, especially to children.
  • Make fruit your everyday dessert - baked apples, berries, frozen juice bars or a fruit salad should be your go-to desserts.
  • Make sweet treats really "treats," not every day food items.
  • Read the labels of food items carefully and choose those that contain the least amount of total sugars.
  • Avoid foods that have been modified to be low-fat, but have increased sugar.
  • Visit www.choosemyplate.gov to get more advice on general nutrition and to help reduce your sugar intake

Researchers at the Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center are currently evaluating the effects of different sweetening agents on the control of blood sugar in a study called the Glycemic Effects of Honey. You can help with this research by applying to be a participant.  Go to the website: www.ars.usda.gov/pa/gfhnrc to apply if you are interested in participating.