Surprise! Your Sugar Consumption In Photos


Most people are aware that over-consumption of any one thing has negative health consequences. Health professionals recommend consuming a wide variety of foods and drinks in moderation. Sugar is not evil, but should be consumed in small amounts, and preferably with meals.

These days sugar consumption has gotten out of control. As an oral health professional, I see the negative effects of this all the time, and it's often quite sad. There are many ways to reduce your risk for developing cavities:

  • Decrease your sugar consumption

Do you read the Nutrition Facts for foods you buy?

  • Yes, sometimes
  • Yes, always
  • No, never
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  • Brush at least twice daily with a fluoride or xylitol toothpaste
  • Floss once daily using the correct methods
  • Swish with water after snacks, meals, and sugary drinks
  • Use a straw, which will help the sugar bypass your teeth
  • Chew sugar-free gum after snacks, meals, and drinks
  • Limit sticky snacks like caramel, raisins, and dried fruits
  • Consume sugary foods and beverages all at once rather than over long periods of time; each instance of sugar intake starts a new acid attack on your teeth that lasts 20-40 mins.
  • Visit your dental hygienist and dentist regularly


Is your current impression that fruits are completely healthy?

  • Yes
  • No
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If I had to pick one food category that's promoted as a health food, I would instantly think of fruit. It's often pushed as the "healthy alternative" to sugary and high-fat snacks.

The truth of the matter, however, is that it's only healthy in moderation--like everything else!

Fruits contain essential vitamins that, in all honesty, are some of the easiest to acquire. Want your vitamin C for the day? Eat an entire serving of fruit and you'll likely get enough C to meet your body's needs.

Fruit is sugary. Yes, they're "natural" sugars, but what does that actually mean? Well, it means they're naturally full of sugar and it hasn't been added. Is that beneficial? Eating anything in its natural form is preferable and more healthy than something that's been produced or introduced in a factory. That said, be aware that though fruits are good in moderation, they contain a lot of sugar.



1 slice watermelon = 18g sugar
1 slice watermelon = 18g sugar | Source

1 slice = 280g
Sugar = 18g
Fat = 0g
Sodium = 3mg
Protein = 1.7g
Vitamin C = 23mg
Vitamin A = 1,593IU


1 bunch grapes = 21g sugar
1 bunch grapes = 21g sugar | Source

1 bunch = 126g
Sugar = 21g
Fat = 0.24g
Sodium = 4mg
Protein = 1g
Vitamin C = 27%
Vitamin A = 2%


1 large orange = 23g sugar
1 large orange = 23g sugar | Source


1 large = 270g
Sugar = 23g
Fat = 0.24g
Sodium = 2mg
Protein = 1.5g
Vitamin C = 160%
Vitamin A = 8%


Do you eat packaged snacks?

  • Yes, occasionally
  • Yes, often
  • No, never
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Nobody will make the claim that Snickers bars and chocolate chip cookies are "good" for you, but gosh are they delicious!

Again, the key here is moderation. A Snickers bar every day is a bit excessive; a Snickers bar a few times a day is going to do some damage to the pancreas, your insulin-producing gland. If the gland cannot keep up with demand, in simple terms, it can lead to an unhealthy situation and eventually diabetes.

There's no reason to remove sugary foods from the diet. Even oral health professionals eat sugar (it's good!) But I ask you to keep some of the following images in mind when you're consuming them; hopefully these images will help moderate your snack food consumption to a reasonable level.



3 chocolate chip cookies = 11g sugar
3 chocolate chip cookies = 11g sugar | Source

Serving size = 3 cookies (34g)
Sugar = 11g
Calories = 160
Fat = 8g
Sodium = 105mg
Protein = 2g
Iron = 4%


PBJ = 16g sugar + bread
PBJ = 16g sugar + bread | Source

Peanut Butter:

Serving size = 2Tbsp. (32g)
Sugar = 3g
Calories = 190
Fat = 16g
Sodium = 147mg
Protein = 8g

Jelly / Jam:

Serving size = 2Tbsp. (20g)
Sugar = 13g
Calories = 100
Fat = 0g
Sodium = 12mg
Protein = 0g


Snickers regular = 28g sugar
Snickers regular = 28g sugar | Source

Serving size = 1 regular bar (57g)
Sugar = 28g
Calories = 266
Fat = 11g
Sodium = 130mg
Protein = 5g

Serving size = 1 king size bar (113g)
Sugar = 56g
Calories = 528
Fat = 22g
Sodium = 258mg
Protein = 10g


Do you drink pop / soda?

  • Yes, occasionally
  • Yes, often
  • No, never
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Most of us enjoy drinking pop or fruit juices once in a while, or even daily. That's okay! As with anything, moderation is the key, and consuming a wide range of foods and drinks is beneficial.

Today sugary drinks are often consumed multiple times per day, potentially leading to mood swing disorders, hyperactivity in children and young adults, and rampant cavities.

Remember to swish with water after drinking any drinks other than water! This can save your teeth from a constant assault. Also, try to drink sugary drinks all at once, as quickly as possible. Each sip starts an acid attack on your teeth that lasts about 20 minutes!

Sugar + Bacteria + Acid + Time = Tooth Decay



1 can Red Bull = 26g sugar
1 can Red Bull = 26g sugar | Source

Serving size = 1 can (255g)
Sugar = 26g
Calories = 115
Fat = 0g
Sodium = 214mg
Protein = 1g
Calcium = 3%


Small bottle OJ = 29g sugar
Small bottle OJ = 29g sugar | Source

Serving size = 12oz. bottle
Sugar = 29g
Calories = 143
Fat = 0g
Sodium = 6mg
Protein = 2g
Vitamin C = 160%


Medium chocolate shake = 112g sugar
Medium chocolate shake = 112g sugar | Source

Serving size = 21oz. medium
Sugar = 112g
Calories = 771
Fat = 21g
Sodium = 336mg
Protein = 17g
Calcium = 58%


20 oz. Mt. Dew = 77g sugar
20 oz. Mt. Dew = 77g sugar | Source

Serving size = 20oz.
Sugar = 77g
Calories = 282
Fat = 0g
Sodium = 118mg
Protein = 0g
Other nutrition = 0%

Serving size = 1L
Sugar = 123g
Calories = 451
Fat = 0g
Sodium = 189mg
Protein = 0g
Other nutrition = 0%


20 oz. Coke Classic = 65g sugar
20 oz. Coke Classic = 65g sugar | Source

Serving size = 12oz. can
Sugar = 39g
Calories = 140
Fat = 0g
Sodium = 45mg
Protein = 0g
Other nutrition = 0%

Serving size = 20oz. bottle
Sugar = 65g
Calories = 240
Fat = 0g
Sodium = 75mg
Protein = 0g
Other nutrition = 0%

Copyright © 2011 Faceless39. All rights reserved.

Comments 26 comments

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Very well done! Using the sugar cubes next to the food choices makes a very strong "statement". I also liked the suggestions for good oral care.

voted up, useful and interesting.

ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

A picture certainly is worth a thousand words in this case. What a great representation of how much sugar is in popular foods and drinks. I know I will now try to draw a mental image of the sugar cubes each time I eat something "junky" without giving it much thought. ~voted up, useful and very interesting~

Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 4 years ago from Isle of Man

You have just written a great hub to support ego.

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

Thanks a lot for your positive feedback, you guys! It's always appreciated. :)

And I'll be honest; I have no idea what this hub has to do with ego, but hey, as long as you got something out of it I don't care! Lol.

Mo Cee 4 years ago

In addition to adverse effects on our teeth, sugar also affects our skin. Good article, ey!

jfay2011 profile image

jfay2011 4 years ago

very interesting hub. I am terrible about sugar in my coffee

Lateral3 profile image

Lateral3 4 years ago

This is a good one Faceless39. A Visual representation of the sugar content really brings it home. At the risk of bringing wrath down upon my head though I would say that the visual works for me because I don't relate to grams when it comes to the nutritional values on foodstuffs these days. For instance; the 20oz bottle of coke with 2.3 oz of sugar makes more sense to me than 65g and I probably wouldn't need the visual aid.

I suspect this may be true for older people and political dissidents who scan down the list of contents and say "the hell with it" and throw it in their basket anyway.

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

Awesome,thanks for the constructive feedback you guys!

(PS: I use xylitol in my coffee! Article on that up at the top. It's actually GOOD for your teeth, natural, and sweeter than sugar so you need less.) :)

You know, I'd thought about the gram vs. ounce thing and came to the conclusion that it would create lots of numbers like 28g = 0.987 ounces. We're dealing with really small numbers of ounces here. So I guess if you picture a sugar cube as being 4.2 grams, it'll hopefully help with the visualization. Thanks for the comment on that! :)

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Great visual examples to help all of us realize what we are actually eating and drinking and how it might impact us. Good work.

Kris Heeter profile image

Kris Heeter 4 years ago from Indiana

Great way to show the sugar content. I'll be sharing this hub with a few of my clients!

DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

This is great. I've shared it.

ChuckG 4 years ago

I don't think it's fully ingrained within us how addictive sugar can be to someone who over indulges. I brush my teeth after I eat anything. I just need to floss more. Thanks for the hub.

truthfornow profile image

truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

People don't realize how much sugar they are consuming. We are sugar addicts! Thanks for breaking this all down and reminding us about moderation and to be mindful of what we are eating.

Carlon Michelle profile image

Carlon Michelle 4 years ago from USA

No wonder I have a hard time loosing weight. 100% Juice is full of sugar. Maybe less then soda but still too much to count on loosing weight with. Thanks for the info. Smile!

Derdriu 4 years ago

Faceless39, What a clear, interesting, useful summary of sugar intake in its different amounts and forms! In particular, you make it easy for readers to compare how much of what to take because of your comparison lists of calories and nutrient (or non-nutient!) information alongside each symbolic photo.

Thank you for sharing, etc.,


Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

Yup, unfortunately juice is full of sugar; it's not something that is widely known, but it sure is helpful to know when trying to lose weight!

Thank you everyone for your awesome comments! :)

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

We had a great pediatrician with a similar visual aid for sugar consumption that was very helpful. Good stuff here!

Tony 4 years ago

Nice, BUT... I don't think natural sugars in fruit can be compared in this way to the "sugars" and sweeteners in things such as cola, candy, etc. On Weight Watchers an unlimited amount of most fruits can be eaten. Weight Watchers is widely regarded as one of, if not the, best weight lose programs.

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA Author

Actually Tony, your teeth don't care what type of fermentable sugars you consume; all of them lead to tooth decay. In addition, carbs are carbs, and as many people know, over-eating of carbohydrates converts directly into fat. If you eat minimal amounts of sugar, your body will burn it off. If you over-consume it, your body will store it for future energy needs--as fat.

Thanks for the great comments!

Born2care2001 profile image

Born2care2001 4 years ago from Asheville NC

Hi Kate!

I am grateful for your article. It serves as my reminder of how silly I am when it comes to eating certain foods, especially those with high sugar content. I have suffered some of the consequences of poor oral hygiene as a youngster and though I have learned my lessons in some areas, a sugar addiction is hard to break, especially when manufacturers load it up in all of our foods.

Though you stress moderation, googling the impact of sugar on the immune system will help people understand the importance of cutting way down. It isn't about being fat, it's about being healthy and the combination of obesity and immune deficiency is deadly.

Well done! I enjoyed the photo's. They're worth a thousand words.

healthygurl profile image

healthygurl 3 years ago from Canada

Love everything about this article, especially the pictures!

Norah Chandler 2 years ago

It was really interesting to see a physical representation of how much sugar is in certain foods and beverages. Sugar is particularly harmful to teeth, so it is good to keep those amount s in mind. It looks like even simple fruit has quite a bit of sugar, albeit much less than processed sugary treats.

Norah Chandler

Rozalyn Winters 2 years ago

I'm a huge natural health buff, and I always learn something new with your hubs. Great job!

Hendrika profile image

Hendrika 2 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

So good to see. I find that many people are not aware of the amount of sugar in fruit juice and think it is OK to consume in huge quantities.

may 20 months ago

So, what you're saying is that eating fruits is just as bad as eating all the bad sugar junk???? This is why people such as myself are confused because one will say natural sugars are good because we can digest them while someone like you will say any form of sugar is bad even if it's a fruit! So which is it????

Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 20 months ago from The North Woods, USA Author

Hi May, thanks for a thought-provoking question! I guess my point is that fruits are pushed as completely healthy, and the sugar aspect is not really in the equation. As a dental hygienist by profession, I have seen the detrimental side effects of this hundreds of times. Eating fruits is definitely better than processed junk, but most people don't realize that they're chock full of fructose, or fruit sugars. I guess my message is to minimize consumption of fruits just as you'd minimize consumption of other sources of sugar. Natural is always better, but that doesn't make it "good." I hope that helps..

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