American Heart Association's recommendations on sugar intake

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends limiting the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calories allowance. For most American women, that’s no more than 100 calories per day, or about 6 teaspoons of sugar. For men, it’s 150 calories per day, or about 9 teaspoons.

36 grams of added sugar is definitely less than I intake in a day. I know we should keep sugar low, but I didn’t realize it should be that low. (And that’s the recommended limit). They also mention discretionary calories which I read to be “amount of treats one should have”… and 150 calories a day (for a guy) is also not a lot.

An uncomfortable truth to learn!

What does “discretionary” mean in this context? Also, it would be double those, since its half, ne?

Yeah idk how you calculate that. I’ve heard it before but seems unhelpful. I think it’s a lot easier to calculate and track macros and base decisions on that.

I keep thinking of keyboard macros… what macros are you referring to?

You are correct, I can’t math today.

Like this! 5 Simple Steps on How to Calculate Vegan Macros (2019 Update)

Disclaimer, I didn’t learn about macros from this article, I found it googling just now, but reading through quickly it looks pretty legit and says about what I’d expect.

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Macros is short for macronutrients. Which is in term shorthand for the broad classication of protein, carbohydrates and lipids. There is a lot of cultural gnashing of teeth going on, on which is better to track and for whom and for what goals right now; and at the risk of wading into something, where I am not a subject matter expert: I feel like its important to mention their are a lot of health perspectives in the zeitgeist on this subject right now.

The standard critique of people focusing on raw nutrients and calories is that it’s overly reductionist. Not easy to account for in a wholistic way; and also often doesn’t really account for individualistic dietary and medical needs. Also this mode of thinking hasn’t really done much to help the western health crisis.

The standard critique of focusing on macronutrients is that if done to exclusion of nutritient monitoring, you can still have a lot of edge cases where you end up with nutrient deficiencies. Also while a powerful tool for many people, its also popularized by a lot of fad diets; which has muddied the waters somebit.

Standard disclaimer for fad diets: While they can work for some people, still aren’t for everyone and sometimes have predatory capitalistic organizations praying on the dieters.

BTW - I highly recommend Michael Pollan’s book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” It’s a little dated now, some of its conclusions have faults; but still highly relevant here. His core thesis is that a lot of the gnashing of teeth we do as a country on this subject, has a lot to do with western modernity loosing its cultural connections to food and the food chain. I don’t know he draws the right solutions to that problem, but I tend to agree with his criticisms.

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You have a certain amount of calories you eat every day to maintain a minimum healthy weight. This can be thought of as your minimum caloric intake.

Many people (capitalism willing) have calorie intakes above this. Optimally still somewhere in the healthy weight range. This would hopefully be your actual average calorie intake. Though for many people this might be a caloric goal, and not their actual average.

Your discretionary calories would be the difference in these two values.

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I think people focusing on macros to the exclusion of anything else is not a fault of the tool - all it is is tool; nothing can account for everything. It’s most useful for athletes but probably a step up for anybody who’s never even thought about how much protein they eat. It’s definitely not about micronutrients, quite literally, and certainly doesn’t work for everyone, like people who find numbers in relation to food triggering. But I don’t think it’s really much than a tool that people can use if they find it helpful.

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@judytuna basically forced me to eat 6 oreos today. We weren’t gonna say anything, but Clover went and told @susan, so now it’s out there!

Our family cares about health, so to justify our pastries we are forbidden to own a vehicle! It’s working out. Its our no-car diet! Wakka wakka wakka!

I would not say I get triggered by numbers and food as much as I glaze over; as soon as I have to count much more than 3, in general, I get bored and move on. I’d have to make some life changes to manage a diet macro.

BTW, there was this live action web show about a really good gamer that owned, and had “sick macros”. Their friend Doug ran with a knife cause it made him faster, and if you get that, you’ll love the thing I’m recalling! :slight_smile:


For me, this was an illuminating article because I hadn’t really thought of sugar as bad for the body, except for like tooth health reasons, or weight gain. But if my weight was being maintained, and my teeth were healthy… what was the harm?

Apparently there is harm. :sweat_smile:

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but oreos


Continuing the discussion from April 19, 2019 - Friday and marvel of the day:

the serving size is 1 pastry. ha!

sugars 16g

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If you cut me open I’d be like 60% oreo by mass, I think. But that’s my problem, lol, which this article helped. I used to buy oreos from Costco in like a 10 tube pack, open it up, and rip one of those suckers all the way down and work on that stack as my “treat”. Like 25 oreos. A ballpark figure of ~150 calories to shoot for helps me!

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So what, like, .5 Oreo?

This is how I used to figure out how valuable something was: how many little debbie snacks, by volume, something could be converted to. A palette of LDS is actually not that much…

Nah, according to this, it’s more like almost 3 oreos.

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Relevant. Fanciest Oreos I’ve seen.

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We sure do react to sugar intake recommendations with a lot of pics of things that contain a lot of sugar. :slight_smile:

Group therapy/confession!


sugar is coming

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