Sugar in moderation can be part of a heart-healthy diet. However, most Americans eat more than a moderate amount of added sugar. Sugar gets added to our diets both as table sugar and in products such as soda, candy and other sweet treats.
Foods containing too much sugar may replace other foods that have important nutrients. And, unfortunately, the calories from high-sugar foods add up quickly, contributing to weight gain in some people.
Even people with diabetes can have sugar in moderation. But keep in mind having too much sugar or other carbohydrates (bread, pasta, fruit, milk, etc.) at one time may make your blood sugar increase.
So, it's a good idea to limit added sugar to leave room for more heart-healthy foods. For most American women this is no more than 100 calories (6 teaspoons) per day. For most American men this is no more than 150 calories (9 teaspoons) per day.
As a reference, one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains 150 calories (about 9 teaspoons) from sugar. In addition, sweet treats that also provide important nutrients (such as a fruit and yogurt smoothie or a fruit cobbler) are better choices than sweets that provide only calories (such as a slushy or candy bar).