How Many Calories In One Gram Of Sugar?

October 17, 2012

Sugar is at the center of attention lately. We’re getting too much of it, and we kind of all know that.
However, do you know exactly how a gram of sugar looks like? And how many calories it has?

That little amount of sugar (which is more or less a pinch) scores 3.87 calories.

And let’s do some math

According to the USDA Americans consume 156 pounds of sugar per capita per year, or 70 kilograms.
70 kilograms = 70,000 grams
70,000 grams * 3.87 calories = 270900 calories per year per American from sugar
270900 calories / 365 days = 742 calories per day per American from sugar
Is this a lot? Yes, that’s almost twice the daily intake of sugar recommended by the Institute of Medicine.
The guidelines suggest to consume only 25% of total calorie intake from sugar. This means, for instance, that if you burn around 1,800 calories per day only 450 of those should come from sugar.

Where to look for sugar

However, don’t get fooled, we don’t get most of the sugar in our diets directly from the sugar bowl.
Only about 29 pounds (out of the 156 pounds) comes as traditional sugar, or sucrose, according to The Sugar Association. The rest comes from foods such as junk food, soda, energy drinks, sweetened fruit juices, pastries, candy, baked goods, processed breads, soups, salad dressings, condiments and pasta sauces.
In other words: look out for hidden sugar!

The Iron You