how much sugar in mcdonalds sweet tea

how much sugar in mcdonalds sweet tea

McDonald’s Sweet Tea: How Much Sugar Is in Each Serving?

McDonald’s sweet tea is a staple of many drive-through menus, and devoted customers often debate how much sugar it contains. The short answer is that one 16-ounce cup contains 30 grams, or 7½ teaspoons of added sugar. Here’s a closer look:

Sugar in a 16-Ounce Cup of Sweet Tea

A single 16-ounce cup of McDonald’s sweet tea contains 30 grams of sugar. This is equivalent to 7½ teaspoons of sugar. The sugar content is the same regardless of whether you choose a regular or a larger cup.

Added Sugar vs Natural Sugar

It’s important to note that the sugar in McDonald’s sweet tea is added sugar, not natural sugar. Natural sugar is typically found in fruits and some dairy products, while added sugar is exactly as it sounds: sugar added to foods during production.

Comparing McDonald’s to Other Beverages

McDonald’s sweet tea is sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, which contributes to its 30 grams of added sugar. To put this in perspective, let’s compare it to a few other well-known beverages:

  • A 16-ounce cup of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of added sugars.
  • A 12-ounce Red Bull contains 28 grams of added sugars.
  • A 16-ounce Gatorade contains 34 grams of added sugars.

McDonald’s sweet tea is on the lower end of the added sugar spectrum, but it still contains a significant amount.

Is McDonald’s Sweet Tea Unhealthy?

Nutritionists advise that no more than 25% of our daily calories should come from added sugars. For an average adult on a 2000 calorie diet, that’s about 50 grams of added sugar per day. With 30 grams for one 16-ounce cup of sweet tea alone, it’s easy to exceed that limit with one drink.

The takeaway? While McDonald’s sweet tea can be enjoyable in moderation, the high added sugar content should be taken into consideration before indulging.


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