Master of disguise!

by

Shockingly, over 68% of barcoded food products sold in the US contain added sweeteners—even if they are labeled as “natural” or “healthy.”1

Just because you don’t see the word “sugar” on the ingredient list when scanning a nutrition label does not guarantee the item is sugar or sweetener-free.

Sugar goes by a slew of different names, making it easy for manufacturers to hide how much sugar is truly in a given product. A whopping 56 different names!

While some of these names are more obvious, like brown and cane sugar, others are trickier to spot, e.g., maltodextrin and dextrose…

The best way to ensure you’re not consuming excess added sugars is to get in the habit of scanning the ingredient list below before you throw the item in your cart. Keep in mind that ingredients are listed by quantity from high to low: the closer to the front of the list a form of sugar is, the more the product contains.

The Most Common Names for Sugar

(Excluding artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes)

Basic Simple Sugars (monosaccharides and disaccharides):

  1. Dextrose
  2. Fructose
  3. Galactose
  4. Glucose
  5. Lactose
  6. Maltose
  7. Sucrose

Solid or Granulated Sugars:

  1. Beet sugar
  2. Brown sugar
  3. Cane juice crystals
  4. Cane sugar
  5. Castor sugar
  6. Coconut sugar
  7. Confectioner’s sugar (aka, powdered sugar)
  8. Corn syrup solids
  9. Crystalline fructose
  10. Date sugar
  11. Demerara sugar
  12. Dextrin
  13. Diastatic malt
  14. Ethyl maltol
  15. Florida crystals
  16. Golden sugar
  17. Glucose syrup solids
  18. Grape sugar
  19. Icing sugar
  20. Maltodextrin
  21. Muscovado sugar
  22. Panela sugar
  23. Raw sugar
  24. Sugar (granulated or table)
  25. Sucanat
  26. Turbinado sugar
  27. Yellow sugar

Liquid or Syrup Sugars:

  1. Agave Nectar/Syrup
  2. Barley malt
  3. Blackstrap molasses
  4. Brown rice syrup
  5. Buttered sugar/buttercream
  6. Caramel
  7. Carob syrup
  8. Corn syrup
  9. Evaporated cane juice
  10. Fruit juice
  11. Fruit juice concentrate
  12. Golden syrup
  13. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  14. Honey
  15. Invert sugar
  16. Malt syrup
  17. Maple syrup
  18. Molasses
  19. Rice syrup
  20. Refiner’s syrup
  21. Sorghum syrup
  22. Treacle

*Note: If you spot any of these names listed on a label, keep in mind it’s not automatically a no-go. It’s the amount of sugar that counts! 

  1. Popkin BM, Hawkes C. The sweetening of the global diet, particularly beverages: patterns, trends and policy responses for diabetes prevention. The lancet Diabetes & endocrinology. 2016;4(2):174-186. doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00419-2.

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