I have been keeping a food journal as part of my weigh loss efforts, and have been tracking what I eat, portions, and nutritional balance. However, there is one thing that I am lost about: sugar intake. Every day I look through what I've eaten and see what I need to eat more of and eat less of, but the problem is I have no idea what the normal healthy range of sugar is. Most of the sugars I eat come from healthy sources such as fruits, but sometimes I will have processed sugars as well. Thanks.
— Sweet Stuff
I think it is great that you are tracking what you eat since keeping a food journal has been proven to help dieters. To see what I have to say about daily sugar intake,
There currently is no officially sanctioned recommended daily allowance for sugar. However, the US Department of Agriculture, the government agency behind the food pyramid, suggests that added sugars should make up only six to 10 percent of your daily calories. Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, that adds up to between 30 and 50 grams of added, not naturally occurring, sugars.
Sugars are a simple form of carbohydrates, so you can also monitor your sugar intake by limiting added sugars to 10 percent of your overall carb consumption. If you eat 300 grams of carbs in a day, then you should keep added sugars to 30 grams. That is about 1/8 cup, to give you a visual on size.
Unfortunately, current nutrition labels lump all sugars, like sucrose (table sugar) and fructose (fruit sugars), together. For example, lactose, a sugar that occurs naturally in milk, will be added into the total grams of sugar of a flavored yogurt with added sugar or sweetener. If you steer clear of processed foods, often loaded with added sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup, and avoid adding sugar to your coffee, cereal, and sliced fruit, you should be fine.