SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Health authorities don't set specific recommendations, but some U.S. experts advise women consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.
Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of supermarketguru.com, said it is recommended that men eat no more than 9 teaspoons of sugar a day -- while one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains eight or more teaspoons of sugar, or 130 calories.
The American Heart Association says since the 1980s, adult consumption of sugar increased by 51 percent in men and women, while the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas calculated that Americans consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day -- 3.6 times the recommendation for women and 2.4 times that for men, Lempert said.
Excess sugar has been linked to heart disease, high cholesterol, hardening of the arteries, hypertension, diabetes, decreased immunity, general inflammation and more, Lempert said.
To reduce the amount of sugar consumed, Lempert advised:
-- Cut back on the amount of added sugars consumed in coffee, tea and breakfast items such as fruit or cereal.
-- Remove sweeteners from the table. Use berries and bananas to sweeten naturally.
-- Buy fresh fruit or if purchasing canned fruit choose it packed in water or natural juice.
-- Cut back on the sugar called for in recipes by one-third when baking.
-- Instead of using sugar add antioxidant-rich spices such as ginger, allspice, cinnamon and nutmeg.