Sugar has a pretty bad rap, and it's not all unwarranted — studies show it may be as addictive as alcohol or cigarettes. Beyond increased rates of obesity all over the country, overzealous consumption — the average American consumes a whopping 130 pounds of sugar per year — leads to higher risks of type 2 diabetes, liver damage, heart disease, and even cancer. With these staggering statistics, you might be steering clear completely. But it's important to realize that not all sugar is bad.
Generally speaking, naturally occurring sugars, like those from fruit, are less detrimental to your health than added, refined sugars, like those in a powdery doughnut. Added sugars come in the form of granules, powders, and syrups that are cooked into foods or added at the table. According to the American Heart Association, most women should be consuming no more than 100 calories from these added sugars per day, or about 24 grams (six teaspoons of sugar).
Keep reading to learn about the sugary foods you can enjoy freely and those to avoid.