8-10 teaspoons. That is the daily sugar limit recommended recently by The American Heart Association. In my opinion, the group took their own sweet time. For years, sugary sweet cereals like Count Chocula, Lucky Charms and Cookie Crisp carried the AMA heart-healthy symbol despite the empty calories from sugar and refined carbohydrates. When I questioned the AMA on it in late 2006, their reply was stunning: “There simply isn’t enough scientific data that proves sugar plays a role in heart disease” [excerpt from Eating Between the Lines (EBL)] Sometime since then the AMA wisely removed their endorsement from such cereals. But only now in 2009, after a study confirmed the obvious, and childhood diabesity is rampant, does the agency finally make a statement on sugar consumption. Sweet—but way too late. A better rule to follow for cereals is Dr. Sears’ 5g rule. Let your kids pick out cereals with 5g fiber, 5g protein and 5g sugar—one gram for each finger.
Kimberly Lord Stewart is the author of Eating Between the Lines, and Editor Functional Ingredients magazine (sister publication to Delicious Living).