New WHO Sugar Guidelines Say a Can of Soda Per Day Is Too Much | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

New WHO Sugar Guidelines Say a Can of Soda Per Day Is Too Much

March 7, 2014

Must See Nutrition Videos

In a not-so-sweet move, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently recommended that adults should cut their daily intake of added sugars from 10 percent of total calories to 5 percent. For someone who consumes 2,000 calories per day (the generally recommended amount for an adult male), the suggested intake of added sugar is approximately 25 grams—the equivalent of six teaspoons of sugar. To put that in perspective, a single can of non-diet soda contains about 40 grams of sugar.

Added sugars include things like high fructose corn syrup, molasses and maltodextrin—any sugar or syrup that manufacturers add to foods or beverages during processing. The WHO also mentions that people should restrict their intake of sugars “naturally present in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrates." Those foods are also high in monosaccharides and disaccharides, simple carbs that the organization wants people to cut from their diets.

The WHO’s decision comes after a review of approximately 9,000 studies. The organization believes reducing the consumption of added sugar will combat tooth decay and obesity. Dental care costs account for up to 10 percent of health care spending in industrialized countries, and research suggests that drinking even one can of soda per day can increase a person's risk of dying from cardiovascular disease by 29 percent.

Nutritionists stress the new recommendation applies to sugars added to processed foods. They do not call for a reduction in the consumption of naturally occurring sugars in unprocessed foods.

“Let’s be clear on what is being proposed," says Leslie Bonci, RD, and nutrition consultant to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Steelers and other professional teams. “This [announcement] does not include [natural] sugar in fruit, milk and grains.”

Natural sugars include “fructose in fruit, lactose in milk, maltose in grains and oligosaccharides in vegetables and beans,” according to Bonci.

As an athlete, you should still eat carbs, and plenty of them.

“Active individuals need anywhere from 45 to 65 percent of their calories from carbs, depending upon duration and intensity of exercise,” says Bonci. “A 150-pound athlete would need between 225 and 750 grams of carbs. Some of that might be from fruits, grains and milk." Their high level of activity means athletes can also ingest simple carbs during endurance races or high-intensity training sessions. According to Bonci, "During prolonged exercise, there is also a need for 30 grams of carbs per hour after the first hour. It will likely be in the form of chews, honey or sports drinks.”

Read More:

Topics: NEWS
Sam DeHority
- Sam DeHority is an Associate Editor at STACK Media. He was previously a member of the editorial staffs at 'Men’s Fitness' and 'Muscle & Fitness,'...
Sam DeHority
- Sam DeHority is an Associate Editor at STACK Media. He was previously a member of the editorial staffs at 'Men’s Fitness' and 'Muscle & Fitness,'...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Turn Nutrition Goals Into Actions

New Years Resolutions It's that time of year where resolutions are plentiful and hopes for a healthier, happier year are high. And while I love how the...

Avoid Pigging Out: How to Conquer Food Cravings

We Tried Cricket Protein Bars. Should You?

7 Pro Athletes Who Succeed Despite Having Horrible Diets

The 5 Foods That Will Rule 2015

Why Chicken Soup Strengthens Your Immune System

Eat Like a Champion, Part 2: How to Lose Fat Safely

Is All Sugar Bad for You?

Pre-Game Nutrition: What to Eat Before You Compete

How and Why to Eat Mindfully

Eat Like a Champion, Part 1: How to Build Muscle in the Kitchen

What You Need to Know about Fats

Do You Need Protein Immediately After Your Workout?

6 Ways to Power Up Your Oatmeal

What You Need to Know About Protein

Bone Broth Breakdown: Should You Eat This 'Super' Soup'?

How Fatty Is Your Thanksgiving?

8 Recovery Foods Recommended by Sport Dietitians

The Food Rules for Building Muscle

4 Common Nutrition Questions Answered

The Nutrition That Powers Joe Thomas's Iron-Man Streak

Building a Healthy Pizza: Tips and Recipes

Why Can't I Stop Gaining Weight?

Macronutrients, Part I: Carbohydrates

6 Fruits and Veggies You Aren't Eating But Should Be

Game-Day Nutrition for Soccer Players

How to Build a Meal Plan to Suit Your Body Type

3 Nutrition Hacks to Improve Your Sports Performance

Russell Wilson Wants You to 'Eat the Ball'

The 7 Best Nuts for Your Health and Performance

Low Workout Stamina? Your Diet May Be the Culprit

Types of Yogurt: What's New and What's Best for Athletes

Coconut Sugar: What Is It, and Is It Good for You?

3 Tips to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Simple Nutrition Tips for Faster Workout Gains

Study Ranks Paleo As Second-Worst Diet

Post-Holiday Chocolate Health Benefits

Cheerios With Quinoa: Coming Soon to a Grocery Store Near You

A Healthier Milk, Brought to You By Coca-Cola. Wait, What?