What should the maximum daily sugar intake be?

What should the maximum daily sugar intake be?

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How much sugar is not yet unhealthy?

The German Society for Nutrition e. (DAG) and the Deutsche Diabetes Gesellschaft e. (DDG) today published a consensus paper with a recommendation on the maximum intake of free sugar in Germany. With the consensus paper, the three specialist societies follow the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 2015 and advocate a maximum free sugar intake of less than 10% of the total energy intake.

With a total energy intake of 2,000 kcal / day, this recommendation corresponds to a maximum intake of 50 g of free sugars / day. These include monosaccharides and disaccharides, which manufacturers or consumers add to food, as well as naturally occurring sugars in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. The quantitative recommendation of the three specialist societies is not to be understood in terms of a recommended intake, but rather as a maximum upper limit.

A high and frequent sugar intake promotes the development of overweight and obesity as well as numerous diseases associated with overweight such as type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases and the development of caries. A low-sugar diet is good for your health.

Sugar intake in Germany

Data from consumption studies show that the intake of free sugar in Germany, especially among younger age groups, is significantly above the recommendation of less than 10% energy (En%). While in the age group between 15 and 80 years the intake for women is around 14 En%, for men it is 13 En%. This corresponds to a free sugar intake of 61 g / day for women and 78 g / day for men. Children and adolescents consume up to 17.5 en%. In order not to exceed the recommended intake of free sugar, the current intake would have to be reduced by at least 25%.

A large proportion of the intake of free sugar in Germany comes from confectionery (36%) and sugary soft drinks such as fruit juices and nectars (26%) and lemonades (12%). In particular, the high consumption of sugary drinks can lead to a positive energy balance and consequently increased body weight and increased risk of illness. Since sugar-sweetened drinks have no satiety effect, their consumption easily leads to an overall high energy intake. The increased risk of type 2 diabetes due to the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is also independent of the influence on the energy balance.

Less sugar is more

The DGE recommends consumers to generally save sugar in their 2017 “10 rules for a wholesome diet”. According to this, those who rarely and moderately eat heavily processed and sugar-sweetened foods and replace sugar-sweetened drinks with water or unsweetened teas can reduce the intake of free sugar. Children should not get used to a high sugar intake and the associated sweet taste. Food advertised especially for children often contains a lot of sugar and is therefore superfluous.

So far, behavioral prevention measures to promote health-promoting lifestyles have not led to the desired reduction in overweight or obesity and the associated nutritional diseases. For this reason, various nutritional policy measures in the area of ​​ratio prevention are currently being used worldwide, also with the aim of reducing the sugar intake throughout the population. From 2019 to 2025, the sugar content in finished products will also be reduced in Germany.

In the long term, a coordinated combination of behavior prevention with various binding measures of relationship prevention, i. H. a holistic approach, useful to deal with the multicausal problem of obesity and obesity as well as the associated nutritional diseases.

Author and source information

Video: How to Kill Your Sugar Addiction Naturally. Dr. Josh Axe (July 2022).


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