How Many Grams of Sugar in a Teaspoon?

How Many Grams of Sugar in a Teaspoon?

Let’s be honest about this – no one really knows the score when it comes to sugar. Some healthcare professionals suggest making sure you have sugar in your diet to keep your energy levels up, whereas the AHA have recently reviewed the reports. They are saying that sugar is actually quite bad for your health, and you should not only watch, but lower your daily intake of the sweet stuff.

At the moment, the AHA’s recommended daily allowance of sugar is to get no more than 100 calories from it. That’s for women, although men are allowed a little more – up to 150 calories from sugar. With the teaspoon being the usual recommend serving size of sugar, it’s wise to take a closer look to see how many grams of sugar in a teaspoon so you can get a better calorie count. Those sugars in your cups of tea and coffee really do make a difference!

How Many Grams of Sugar in a Teaspoon?


If you want to know how many grams of sugar in a teaspoon to keep an eye on your calorie intake, scientists, nutritionists and dieticians have stated that the average teaspoon will contain about four grams of sugar. This will vary, of course – do you heap your teaspoons?

When you work this out, you can better understand the sugar content of other foods you are consuming. And drinks too, for that matter. For example, the average can of Coca Cola contains 44grams of sugar, and when you divide that by 4 (because there are approximately 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon), you get the number 11. That means there are 11 teaspoons of sugar in the average can of Coca Cola. Isn’t that astounding? You wouldn’t put 11 teaspoons of sugar into your tea or coffee, so why would you want that from your cold drinks?

How Many Grams of Sugar Are We Allowed?

With more and more reports of how sugar is bad for you on the news and in the newspapers every day, it makes sense to have a better understanding of exactly how much sugar the professionals are saying we are allowed to eat on a daily basis. Back in 2005, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans released a report that suggested the average adult male should consume 2,000 calories per day, and only 32g of sugar per day.

When you divide 32 grams by 4, you get 8, and that is the amount of teaspoons of sugar you are allowed per day. It also amounts to around six percent of your daily calorie intake allowance also.

Since 2005, those recommend amounts have been revised, mostly because of the hidden sugars found in packaged and processed foods. The AHA (American Heart Association) has recently stated that male adults shouldn’t consume more than 36 grams of sugar, or 9 teaspoons. Adult females shouldn’t consume more than 20 grams of sugar, or 5 to 6 teaspoons of sugar.

Children have their own totals also – it is 12 grams of sugar, which amounts to 3 teaspoons of sugar.

Good and Bad Sugars


There are good and bad sugars, of course, and that’s what you’ll also need to pay attention to.

Good sugars are foods such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. These are foods that are low in sugar content. The list includes:

  • Yogurt
  • Skimmed Milk
  • Low Fat Milk
  • 1% Milk
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Acai Berries
  • Banana
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Apples
  • Cantaloupes
  • Pineapple
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Carrot
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach

Bad sugars include many of the every day products you would come across, including flavoured yogurts, breakfast cereals, ketchup and pancake syrup. Granola and dried fruits are also considered to be bad sugars, and even a number of beverages:

  • Lemon Iced Tea – 11-12 teaspoons sugar per 16 oz.
  • Orange Juice – 5-6 teaspoons sugar per 8 oz.
  • McDonalds Vanilla Shake – 24 teaspoons sugar per 21 oz.

Other bad sugars include frozen yogurt with 1 teaspoon of sugar per 1 oz. serving, and chocolate cake in a restaurant, which is said to have 13 teaspoons of sugar for one 8 oz. slice.

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