Sugar is everywhere, and it’s sneaky. The added sweeteners found in processed foods have become such an issue that the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services updated the official Dietary Guidelines for 2015-2020 to cap how much we should consume every day.

The goal? Making added sugar no more than 10% of your total daily calories in order to prevent major health problems, including heart disease and diabetes. On a 2,000 calorie diet, that’s 50 grams (or 12 teaspoons) per day, but calorie needs vary individually. If 50 grams already sounded strict to you, the American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than 24 grams of added sugar per day, and men stay under 36 grams added sugar per day.

Note that this does not include the naturally occurring sugars in fruit, vegetables, and dairy products, which groups like the World Health Organization (WHO) say are less of a health issue. But how are we supposed to tell the difference between added and natural sugars? Luckily, newly designed nutrition labels will be a huge help. Added sugars and total sugar will be listed on all labels by 2021, so it will be much easier to spot foods packed with the sweet stuff.

Until then, check ingredients lists for sugar and its many aliases: fruit juice concentrate, agave nectar, evaporated cane juice, corn syrup, caramel, maltose, maple syrup, dextrose, tapioca, glucose syrups, confectioners sugar, barley malt, molasses, turbinado sugar, galactose, and treacle.

“Ultimately, you can 100% eat dessert every day if you cut out the sneaky sources of added sugar in your diet,” says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Check labels religiously, but on the whole, sauces, condiments, dairy products, breads, crackers, and beverages are some places you might not expect to find sugar.”

To give you a better idea of what 50 grams of total sugar in a day look like, we put together a full menu that stays under the limit that’s still totally nom-worthy.

Breakfast: Scrambled Egg Burrito

Kick off your day with a loaded breakfast burrito with eggs, broccoli, black beans, and a little cheddar cheese in a whole-grain flour tortilla.

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TOTAL SUGARS: 8.9 g

Snack: Apple and Peanut Butter

For your mid-morning snack, gobble up some an apple dipped in 2 tablespoons of peanut or almond butter. Sprinkle on cinnamon for extra flavor.

TOTAL SUGARS: 18 g

Lunch: Kale Salad With Chicken

For lunch, try a filling kale and chicken salad made with cabbage, cucumber, tomato, snap peas, and little cilantro.

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TOTAL SUGARS: 3.1 g

Snack: Celery and Hummus

Snack time again! Pair five sticks of celery with a tablespoon of hummus for a crunchy and satisfying treat.

TOTAL SUGARS: 1.5 g

Dinner: Salmon With Mango and Lime Salsa

Ready for dinner? This salmon with mango and lime salsa recipe is full of flavor and omega-3s.

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TOTAL SUGARS: 9.1 g

Dessert: Chocolate Mug Cake

You didn’t think we’d skimp on dessert, did you? There’s plenty of room for a sweet treat in a sugar-sensible day too. Especially something chocolatey, like this mug cake.

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TOTAL SUGARS: 9.4 g

Grand Total: 50 Grams

See? You really can have a filling breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus two snacks and dessert, for a grand total of exactly 50 grams of sugar. Sweet!

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Tehrene Firman
Web Editor When she’s not keeping up with the latest health news, Tehrene is probably doing one of the following things: walking her fluffy little dog, Trixie, blogging about food and fitness at TehreneFirman.com, watching Law & Order: SVU, or getting her sweat on in Pilates or spinning.

https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/g4843/how-many-grams-of-sugar-per-day/

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