American Diet Too Sweet for the Heart's Health

"I was a butterball," said Kuprel. "I started to see, I have a problem with sugar. When I ate the sugar all bets are off. I kept eating -- breakfast sugars, cereals, spaghetti sauce, pizza, ketchups, dressings, sauces," she said.

After her realization, Kuprel said she started eating only whole grains and foods without processed sugars. That meant no more pizza or soda. It also meant checking for added sugar in sauces, and mostly eating fruit for dessert.

Kuprel, author of the Happy2BeMe blog lost 70 pounds within a year by changing her habits.

"I love living like this," said Kuprel.

But many doctors doubt the AHA recommendation would have such an effect on the public at large.

"It will be difficult for most people to adhere to the 100 calorie or 150 calorie limit, and most people will not know what it means. The average person won't remember such a vague concept," said Dr. Jana Klauer, a New York-based expert in nutrition and metabolism and author of "The Park Avenue Nutritionist's Plan."

"It would have been better to specifically instruct people to 'avoid drinking soda' and to warn 'soda and sugary snacks have been associated with obesity and may pose cardiovascular risks," she said.

Other nutritional experts worried about the "one size fits all" recommendations put out by health organizations.

Experts Don't Think Everyone Should Cut Sugar

"Not everyone needs to restrict sugar. For people who are active, not overweight, and eating an otherwise healthy diet, extra sugar is not going to be detrimental," said Beth Kitchin assistant professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham department of Nutrition Sciences.

"I think we need to tailor our recommendations to specific populations rather than throw out these general guidelines that most people will ignore anyway," she said.

Johnson, the lead author of the study, hopes her recommendations translate into some good advice, even if the public isn't counting grams of sugar every day.

"We're not saying eliminate added sugar, we're saying use them with discretion," said Johnson.

"Try to use the added sugars with foods that will enhance the diet, for instance a sugared whole grain breakfast cereal or a sugar sweetened dairy product … they're improving the flavor of the food in a healthy diet as opposed to [spending it on] things that don't carry any other nutritional value, like soda or candy bars," she said.

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