Convert Grams of Sugars into Teaspoons

Sugar has a very controversial role in the nutritional industry. Healthcare providers advice healthy sugar sources to maintain steady energy levels; yet on the other hands, according to latest recommendation of AHA, sugar is hazardous to health and all individuals should watch their total daily sugar intake. Currently AHA suggests all adult females to consume no more than 100 calories from sugar; likewise, considering a higher metabolic rate of males, the recommended daily intake should not exceed150 calories from sugar. With teaspoon being the major tool to get sugar, you must wonder, how many grams of sugar is in a teaspoon and how many teaspoons of sugar should one eat (or not exceed) per day?

How Many Grams of Sugar in a Teaspoon?

Health conscious and those who have certain metabolic conditions are often interested in knowing easy methods that can help in suggesting the number of grams contained in a teaspoon of sugar. This is helpful in a number of ways; since most processed or packaged foods list the total number of grams of sugar in the package and not the total number of teaspoons of sugar.

Dietitians and nutritionists have established that 4 grams of white sugar (granulated) is equal to 1 teaspoon of sugar. This can explain simple sugar composition of most beverages and foods; for example, one can of coke contains approximately 44 grams of sugar. You can easily get the total number of teaspoons of sugar contained in one can by (44 divided by 4). This measurement is much more realistic and somewhat eye-opening too (did you ever realized that a can of coke gives you 11 teaspoons of sugar with absolutely no nutritional advantage?)

How Many Grams of Sugar Should We Eat Per Day?

A lot of people today are fully aware of hazardous effects of sugar on the physical and metabolic functioning of the body. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released in 2005 helped in suggesting the ideal recommendations of sugar intake in lieu of rising trends of obesity and metabolic syndrome. According to 2005 guidelines, based on a 2000 calories/ day diet, an adult individual must not consume over 32 grams of sugar per day (that corresponds to 8 teaspoon of sugar); likewise, it also constitutes 6% of your entire caloric intake per day.

Based on the total or concealed sugar in a variety of processed or packaged foods, the recommended intake of sugar has been revised. Here are the latest and most up to date recommendations from American Heart Association, according to which:

  • Each adult male should not consume over 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar
  • An adult female should maintain her total sugar intake under 20 grams (that corresponds to 5- 6 teaspoons of sugar
  • Likewise, children are also advised to decrease the intake of sugar and it is the responsibility of parents to watch the sugar intake of kids that should not exceed 3 teaspoons of sugar per day (or 12 grams)

What Are the Good Sugars and Bad Sugars?

Learning the answer to how many grams of sugar in a teaspoon is not enough; we should know what's good and bad for our body:

Good Sugars

Food Group


Dairy products

1% milk, low fat milk, skimmed milk, yogurt


You can consume fresh fruits as well as frozen fruits (canned fruits is definitely not a good choice). This include all the berries (blue berries, black berries, strawberries, acai berries), apples, banana, citrus fruits like lemon, orange, tangerines, pineapple, cantaloupes)

With fruits and fresh vegetables, you don’t have to count the calories or sugar in grams (because high fiber intake utilize the calories during metabolism and digestion).


Most vegetables are healthy and can be consumed in high amounts without much worry (excellent sources include carrot, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, spinach and broccoli.

Bad Sugars (1 teaspoon = 4 grams sugar)

It is highly recommended to minimize the intake of these foods to minimize the risk of metabolic complications.

Food Group


Everyday products

6 oz. Flavored yogurt (low fat) supply 7 teaspoons of sugar

1 cup of fruit loops supply 3.75 teaspoons.

¼ cup (or 1 serving) of pancake syrup supply 8 teaspoons of sugar

4 teaspoons of ketchup supply 4 teaspoons

Apparently healthy but actually unhealthy foods

2/3 cup (1 serving of granola) supply 4 teaspoons of sugar

1 cup of dried fruits supply 21 teaspoons of sugar


8 oz orange juice supply 5.5 teaspoons of sugar

16 oz. of Lemon iced tea or Snapple supply 11.5 teaspoons of sugar

20 oz, Passion Fruitopia supply 17.5 teaspoons of sugar.

Snacks & desserts

Balance Bar supply approximately 5 teaspoons

21 oz of McDonald's Vanilla Shake supply 24 teaspoons

8 oz of frozen yogurt supply 8.5 teaspoons

8 oz of restaurant chocolate cake supply 13 teaspoons

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