A number of studies have suggested that consuming too much sugar causes adverse health effects. This information has led to the recommendation of limiting added sugar to 10% or less of a person’s total daily calorie intake. While this is close to common knowledge, health scholars still advocate for stricter scrutiny of facts before making such recommendations.

“What are added sugars?” Well, added sugars include table sugar, sweeteners, those that naturally occur in honey, juice, and syrups, as well as those added during food processing, which are commonly referred to as “free sugars” or “added sugars.” Studies have shown evidence that links these types of sugars to several diseases. For instance, too much consumption of free sugars leads to obesity, which is a high-risk factor for different kinds of cancer. Coincidentally, these sugars can be found in highly processed foods, which have also been found to increase inflammation. Unfortunately, inflammation in the body stresses the heart and blood vessels, which then leads to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Because of these studies, the amount of added sugar intake is now suggested to be just about 6 teaspoons a day.

To help people improve their sugar intake, health experts suggest being mindful of what they eat, choosing to drink water over flavored beverages, opting for fresh fruits instead of processed desserts, going for home-cooked meals instead of fast food, and educating oneself about sugar intake, especially about better alternatives.