Quiz: How Much Sugar Is Too Much Sugar?

Quiz: How Much Sugar Is Too Much Sugar?

For years, health experts have urged and begged us to consume less sugar. Sadly, their advice is falling on deaf ears. Consider this: In 1700, the average person consumed 1.25 teaspoons of sugar a day. By 1900, that soared to 28 teaspoons daily. And in 2009, half of our country was gulping down an astounding 56.75 teaspoons of sugar every day. That’s a lot of sugar!

The consequences of consuming so much sugar are frighteningly clear. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer are all linked to excess sugar consumption. But so is acne, accelerated skin and cell aging, depression, and, oh yes, cavities!

How much do you know about sugar? How much sugar are you and your family unknowingly ingesting? Take our quiz to find out!



1. Which of the following is NOT an example of a naturally occurring sugar?

A. Fructose
B. Lactose
C. Brown sugar
D. Agave

[vc_row][vc_column][mkdf_accordion style="toggle"][mkdf_accordion_tab icon_pack="" title="Answer"][vc_column_text]C. Even though it is thought to be healthier, brown sugar is in reality just white sugar mixed with some molasses. And while brown sugar does contain more essential nutrients—dietary potassium, for example—the amount contained in brown sugar is miniscule and doesn’t really help meet daily needs.[/vc_column_text][/mkdf_accordion_tab][/mkdf_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]


2. True or False: When it comes to sugar, juice is a healthier choice over soda.

[vc_row][vc_column][mkdf_accordion style="toggle"][mkdf_accordion_tab icon_pack="" title="Answer"][vc_column_text]False. A recent opinion article in The New York Times notes that one 12-ounce glass of orange juice contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, roughly the same amount that is in a can of Coke. So why do we think juice is so good for us? Manufacturers and the government have worked hard to convince us that juice is a good source of natural vitamins. They forget to mention how much sugar it brings with it. Eat some fruit instead![/vc_column_text][/mkdf_accordion_tab][/mkdf_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]


3. How much sugar does the American Heart Association recommend we consume each day?

A. 1.25 teaspoons
B. 7.5 teaspoons
C. 28 teaspoons
D. 57 teaspoons

[vc_row][vc_column][mkdf_accordion style="toggle"][mkdf_accordion_tab icon_pack="" title="Answer"][vc_column_text]B. The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of added sugars to about 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 teaspoons per day for men. Remember: 1.25 teaspoons were what the average person consumed in the 1700s; by the 1900s, we were up to 28 teaspoons. And today, we’re consuming an astounding 57 teaspoons of sugar every day.


4. True or False: A 4-tablespoon serving of fat-free raspberry pecan salad dressing has the same amount of sugar as a comparable amount of lite chocolate syrup.

[vc_row][vc_column][mkdf_accordion style="toggle"][mkdf_accordion_tab icon_pack="" title="Answer"][vc_column_text]True! Both serving sizes contain approximately 5 teaspoons of sugar. Remember, the American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons of sugar per DAY for women; men should aim for less than 10.[/vc_column_text][/mkdf_accordion_tab][/mkdf_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]


5. Which of the following are not hidden sugars?

A. Sorghum
B. Lactose
C. Mannitol
D. Maltodextrin

[vc_row][vc_column][mkdf_accordion style="toggle"][mkdf_accordion_tab icon_pack="" title="Answer"][vc_column_text]All of the above are hidden sugars. In fact, food manufacturers use more than 25 different sweeteners. No matter what they are called, they mean added sugars—and calories—in your diet. Some other popular names for sweeteners are dextrose, fructose, corn syrup, invert sugar, evaporated cane juice, corn sweetener, malt syrup, galactose, polydextrose, sorbitol and xylitol.[/vc_column_text][/mkdf_accordion_tab][/mkdf_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]


6. True or False: The “war” on fat had no impact on the amount of sugar that we consume.

[vc_row][vc_column][mkdf_accordion style="toggle"][mkdf_accordion_tab icon_pack="" title="Answer"][vc_column_text]False. When manufacturers removed fat from foods like cookies and snacks, they added in sugar. And increasingly the medical world believes that it is sugar that contributes most to our health issues. Recently, Mark Hyman, MD, director of the Center for Functional Medicine, noted that sugar is what sabotages our weight and our health. In contrast, quality fats in a healthy diet will do a much better job protecting our bodies.[/vc_column_text][/mkdf_accordion_tab][/mkdf_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]


7. True or False: Sugar can be as addicting as heroin or cocaine.

[vc_row][vc_column][mkdf_accordion style="toggle"][mkdf_accordion_tab icon_pack="" title="Answer"][vc_column_text]True. A growing consensus of health experts who have used special MRIs and other tests has found that the same region of the brain that reacts to drugs is also lit up by sugar consumption. And while it is true that sugar fuels every cell in the brain, too much of it acts as an addicting force.

So what to do? Programs that recommend cutting all added sugars are notoriously difficult to stay with. Nutritionists instead recommend taking baby steps to cut your added sugar consumption. One idea: Mix sugary foods with items that are better for you. Need your juice fix in the morning? Mix your juice with seltzer to cut sugars (and calories!). Love your Lucky Charms? Do a half-and-half mix: half Luckys and half Shredded Wheat. A spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that this method cuts sugar but doesn’t lead to feelings of being deprived.[/vc_column_text][/mkdf_accordion_tab][/mkdf_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]


8. True or False: Food manufacturers are now required to include the amount of added sugars on nutrition labels.

[vc_row][vc_column][mkdf_accordion style="toggle"][mkdf_accordion_tab icon_pack="" title="Answer"][vc_column_text]It’s complicated! The government had required food manufacturers to adopt new nutrition labels this year that would spell out the amount of added sugars. But in June, the Trump Administration announced an indefinite delay in the launch of the new labels. The action followed the Administration’s decision in April to delay rules that would have required calorie counts on restaurant menus.

Luckily for us, many manufacturers and restaurants have already added the information about added sugars onto their labels and have no plans to remove the information.[/vc_column_text][/mkdf_accordion_tab][/mkdf_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]


9. Do you think you’re addicted to sugar?

A. Yep. No doubt about it. It’s all I think about.
B. Probably. I do find myself craving a midday sweet.
C. Nope. I’m a black coffee type of person. Hate the stuff.

[vc_row][vc_column][mkdf_accordion style="toggle"][mkdf_accordion_tab icon_pack="" title="Answer"][vc_column_text]Unfortunately, even if you are a black coffee type of person who hates sugar, you’re probably getting too much added sugar in your food. [/vc_column_text][/mkdf_accordion_tab][/mkdf_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row]



Not sure if you’re addicted to sugar? Here are a few hints:

  • You crave certain foods even when you aren’t hungry.
  • You go out of your way to go to the store to pick up candy.
  • You eat your sugary foods in private.
  • You read this blog because you are worried about the amount of sugar you are consuming.

We can help determine if you have a little bit of a sweet tooth or a more serious problem.

To schedule a consultation, call 609.512.1468.

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The information on this website is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.  Princeton Integrative Health advises that you use this information in consultation with your functional medicine doctor or other healthcare professional.