Here's How Much Sugar We SHOULD Be Eating (PHOTOS)

Adriana Velez | Mar 6, 2014 Food & Party

m&msDo you know how much sugar is too much sugar? I had no effin' idea -- until now. According to the World Health Organization, only 5 percent of our calories should come from sugar. That's added sugar, by the way. Even broccoli has natural sugars, after all. WHO director of nutrition Francesco Branca admits that 10 percent is probably more realistic for most of us. But just out of curiosity, I wanted to figure out what 5 percent of your total calories per day would look like.

Let's say you consume around 2000 calories a day. That would mean you could eat 100 calories in sugar. 100 calories of sweet, sweet indulgence. How many M&Ms is that, exactly? Well, our nutritional labels don't tell us that, yet. But you can estimate based on 4 calories per 1 gram of sugar.

  • Most of the M&Ms in a Little Bag



    A single, 47.9 gram serving of M&Ms has 30 grams of sugar. That's 120 calories from sugar, so that's a bit over the ideal 100 grams

  • Half a Can of Cola



    A can of cola has about 42 grams of sugar, which means 168 calories. So you could drink a little over half the can. Split it with a friend.

  • Half a Cup of Frozen Yogurt


    A 1/2 cup serving of soft-serve frozen yogurt has 17.3 grams of sugar, or about 70 calories of sugar. So you can eat the whole thing and still have 30 sugar calories to spare.

  • 3/4 of a Cupcake



    Now we're talking about my favorite vice, the cupcake. A homemade or fresh bakery cupcake has around 35 grams of sugar, about 140 calories of sugar. Maybe eat 3/4 of it?

  • Less Than 1 Serving of Fast Food Oatmeal


    One serving of McDonald's Fruit & Maple Oatmeal has 32 grams of sugar. That's 128 calories -- a bit over your limit. You might do better by cooking and sweetening your own oatmeal at home.

  • 6 Red Licorice Twists



    One serving of licorice twists, 4 pieces, has 17 grams of sugar, or 68 calories. So you could probably have about 6 pieces.

  • 5 Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies



    One homemade, chocolate-chip cookie (2 1/2 inches in diameter) has about 5 grams of sugar, or 20 calories from sugar. That means you could have 5 cookies. On the other hand, a Mrs. Field's chocolate chip cookie has 72 calories from sugar. Ouch.

  • It All Adds Up


    But we're not getting sugar just from these little indulgences. The average American consumes 500 calories from sugar per day. WHERE IS THAT COMING FROM?!? Everythign! Sugar sneaks in through all kinds of other foods, like salad dressing (20 sugar calories). 

healthy choices sugar slideshow

More Slideshows