Sugar Table sugar has been plentiful in American diets since the 20th century. Before then, it was an expensive condiment known as “white gold.”

Recognizable in this form, consumers also understand that the cheap staple is abundant in their favorite sweet treats. However, common foods in the Standard American Diet are overflowing with hidden sources of sugar.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, sugar consumption per capita increased by 39 percent between the 1950s and the early 2000s. Americans on average eat 16 percent of their total calories from added sugars, mostly from soda, energy and sports drinks, grain-based desserts, sugar-sweetened fruit drinks, dairy-based desserts and candy, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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