How much sugar is in one can of pop?

How much sugar is in one can of pop?

Ever bother to look at the back of a pop can? Maybe you've seen that a regular can of pop — 12 ounces — has about 150 calories. And that's where most people stop reading. There's no fat, and hardly any sodium. Nothing to see here. But there is some sugar. 40 grams.

Ok. 40 grams. That's not a really big number. Some people just like sweet drinks. There's people who order a small coffee — McDonalds serves a 12 ounce small coffee — and they put 5 or 6 sugar packets in it. Maybe they use sugar cubes. 1 sugar packet = 1 sugar cube.

So how much sugar is in a packet, or cube? Not every sugar packet is the same size, but almost all of the sugar packets you'll see in the United States contain 4 grams of sugar. And those 4 grams of sugar have 15 calories.

That means there's 10 packets of sugar in a can of pop. And at 15 calories per packet, that means that all 150 calories are from the sugar.

"But I buy bottled pop"

So how much sugar is in a bottle of pop? Well, most bottles of pop are 20 ounces. 20 ounces has 69 grams, divide by 4, and it means there's 17-and-one-quarter sugar packets in a 20 oz pop bottle. A medium pop cup from McDonalds holds 21 ounces.

So what?

Well, for one thing: if you're at risk for diabetes, lots of sugar doesn't help you at all. You probably know that when the body digests sugar, your pancreas releases insulin to help you use the sugar energy. Too much sugar, and you can wear out your pancreas.

Not to mention that sugar makes you fat. How fat? Well, let's pretend that you consume the exact number of calories needed to power your body, every single day, and no more. That's a pretty good diet. Now, to reward yourself, you enjoy a pop every day. Just one, you don't want to go overboard.

That one pop per day adds 150 calories every day. 150 calories * 365 days equals 54,750 calories each year. Since there's 3500 calories per pound, that one pop per day adds 15.64 pounds per year. If you weren't already fat, you will be soon.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? pop@onecanofpop.com