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Added sugars are sugar carbohydrates (caloric sweeteners) added to food and beverages during their production (industrial processing). This type of sugar is chemically indistinguishable from naturally occurring sugars, but the term "added sugar" is used to identify sweetened foods. Added sugars have no nutritional value, indicating "empty calories".
Over-consumption of sugar is positively correlated with increased calorie intake and weight gain. The American Heart Association recommended daily intake of sugar for men is 150 calories or nine teaspoons per day, and for women, 100 calories or six teaspoons per day.
Added sugar consumption in the United States
In the United States, added sugars may include sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup, both primarily composed of about half glucose and half fructose. Other types of added sugar ingredients include beet and cane sugars, all types of corn syrup (including solids), malt syrup, maple syrup, pancake syrup, fructose sweetener, liquid fructose, fruit juice concentrate, honey, and molasses. The most common types of foods containing added sugars are sweetened beverages, including most soft drinks which represent 20% of daily calorie consumption. The World Health Organization recommends that this number should be no higher than 10%. Based on a 2012 study on the use of caloric and noncaloric sweeteners in some 85,000 food and beverage products, 74% contain added sugar.
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