It's not just the savory flavors that'll get you; sweets, too, can ultimately become a cause for concern, says the AHA. Like salt, sugar creeps into the processed foods that make up much of the American diet, and sweetened beverages—soda, juices, and sports drinks—are especially loaded with the stuff. Here's some disturbing math for you: A 12-ounce can of soda has about 8 teaspoons (or 33 grams) of added sugars, totaling about 130 calories. (A gram of sugar translates into 4 calories.)
A can of Coke or Pepsi, then, basically takes you to the AHA's upper limit on the recommended amount of added sugar Americans should ingest on a daily basis. The association's primary concern is the number of excess calories that added sugars sneak into our diets and pile onto our waistlines, which can contribute to metabolic changes that increase the chances of developing a host of diseases.
Bottom line: According to the AHA, women should get no more than 100 calories per day of added sugars and men should stop at 150 calories per day. Watch out for surprising foods where sugar lurks, like fortune cookies, baked beans, ketchup, and flavored popcorn.