A 12 oz can of Mountain Dew contains 46 grams or approximately 11.5 teaspoons of sugar. This amount accounts for over 100% of the recommended daily intake of added sugars. Excess sugar consumption has been linked to various health problems including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. This article will examine how much sugar is in a standard 12 oz can of Mountain Dew, the % daily value, how it compares to other popular sodas, and the potential health implications of consuming this amount of added sugar on a regular basis.
How Many Grams of Sugar in 12 oz Mountain Dew?
A 12 ounce can of regular Mountain Dew contains 46 grams of sugar. Gram for gram, sugar provides 4 calories. So in total, the 46 grams of sugar in a can of Mountain Dew provides 184 calories, which accounts for 38% of a 12 ounce can’s total calories (12 oz Mountain Dew has 290 calories total).
To put 46 grams in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams or 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and 36 grams or 9 teaspoons for men. This means a single 12 oz can of Mountain Dew exceeds the maximum daily amount.
46 grams equates to approximately 11.5 teaspoons of granulated white sugar. For a visual reference, here is a photo showing 11.5 teaspoons of sugar:
That’s more than 2 tablespoons of sugar in a single can of soda. The added sugar in Mountain Dew provides empty calories and no essential nutrients.
Mountain Dew Sugar Content as % Daily Value
The nutrition label on a can of Mountain Dew lists the % daily value for added sugars as 184%. This means a 12 oz can of Mountain Dew provides 184% of the maximum recommended intake of added sugars per day.
The % daily value (%DV) shows how much a nutrient (like added sugars) contributes to your daily diet based on a 2,000 calorie intake. The daily value for added sugars is 50 grams. A 12 oz can of Mountain Dew contains 46 grams of added sugars, which is 184% DV for the day.
Consuming over 100% DV for added sugars is alarming, as health authorities recommend limiting added sugar intake to no more than 10% of total calories. Exceeding the daily value to such an extreme degree is why Mountain Dew is considered an unhealthy beverage choice.
Mountain Dew Sugar vs Other Sodas
Compared to other popular sodas, Mountain Dew has more sugar per 12 oz serving than most:
As you can see, Mountain Dew clocks in at 46 grams of sugar per 12 oz can, compared to 38-41 grams in the other popular sodas. Of all the major brands, Mountain Dew has the highest sugar content.
The extra 5+ grams of sugar per serving adds up quickly. Drinking just 1 can of Mountain Dew per day results in consuming over 150 extra grams of sugar per month compared to drinking an equivalent amount of Sprite or Coca-Cola.
Health Impacts of Drinking Mountain Dew Regularly
Consuming 46 grams or 11.5 teaspoons of added sugar in a single serving of soda like Mountain Dew can have negative health implications over time. Here are some of the health risks associated with drinking Mountain Dew regularly:
Weight gain –
The extra calories from added sugar in Mountain Dew can lead to weight gain over time, increasing risk for obesity. Sugar sweetened drinks like soda are linked to excess calorie intake and obesity in children and adults.
Type 2 Diabetes-
Frequent consumption of sugar sweetened beverages is associated with increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes. The large amounts of rapidly absorbed liquid sugars overload the body’s blood glucose control system over time.
Tooth decay –
The combination of acid and sugar in soda eats away at tooth enamel and leads to dental cavities. Children and adolescents face the highest risk of tooth decay from soft drinks.
Heart disease –
Excess sugar intake from soda raises triglyceride levels, inflammation, blood pressure, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Fatty liver disease –
High consumption of sugary beverages may increase risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The excess sugar gets converted to fat in the liver.
Should You Drink Mountain Dew?
Based on its very high sugar content and lack of nutritional value, Mountain Dew is best limited in a healthy diet. The American Heart Association recommends:
– Women: No more than 24 grams or 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day
– Men: No more than 36 grams or 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day
With 46 grams or 11.5 teaspoons of sugar in one can, Mountain Dew exceeds the maximum daily amount. Consuming this in excess of dietary guidelines can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay when drank regularly over time.
For improved nutrition, it’s better to avoid sugary sodas like Mountain Dew as much as possible. Instead, drink unsweetened beverages like water, seltzer, or unsweetened tea or coffee. If you occasionally consume soda, the diet/zero calorie versions eliminate calories from sugar while still providing carbonation. Or dilute regular soda with seltzer to cut the sugar content in half.
Overall, while an occasional soda may be fine for some people, Mountain Dew and other sugary sodas should be limited in a healthy diet due to their high sugar and calorie content without nutritional benefit. When consumed too frequently or abundantly, the 46 grams of added sugar in a 12 oz can of Mountain Dew can negatively impact your health over the long-term.
A standard 12 ounce can of Mountain Dew contains 46 grams or 11.5 teaspoons of added sugar, which exceeds the maximum daily recommended amount for added sugars. The 46 grams provides 184% of the daily value for added sugars, making Mountain Dew an unhealthy choice when consumed regularly. Compared to other popular sodas, Mountain Dew has the highest sugar content per serving. Drinking sugary sodas like Mountain Dew on a frequent basis can increase risk for obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and tooth decay. For improved nutrition and health, it’s best to limit consumption of Mountain Dew and instead choose unsweetened beverages most of the time.