61 Names for Sugar Used to Sweeten Your Food

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61 Names for Sugar

Image via Unsplash/Glen Carrie

It's been all over the media: Research suggests that calories from added sugars are more detrimental to our health than calories from other sources. So it's critical to know where the sugar in your diet is coming from. Is it the "healthy" nut bar in your bag that's full of maple and brown rice syrup? Or, the so called "healthy" low fat yogurt that's also full of sugar?

In 2016 the FDA finally overhauled the way packaged foods are labeled and for the first time required manufactures to list added sugars. That includes details on all added sugars like white or brown sugar and high fructose corn syrup. This affected about 800,000 products, including everything from protein bars, to sports drinks, cereals, spaghetti sauce and more.

And get this, 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon.

Armed with this fact and the below list of 61 names of sugar, you are now a nutrition label power reader! One glance at the back of a package's nutrition label and you now know exactly how much sugar you will consume should you choose to eat it.

Harvard School of Medicine provides this advice:

"The American Heart Association (AHA) has recommended that Americans drastically cut back on added sugar, to help slow the obesity and heart disease epidemics. The AHA’s suggested added sugar threshold is no more than 100 calories per day (about 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of sugar) for most women and no more than 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons or 36 grams of sugar) for most men. But remember—your body doesn’t need to get any carbohydrate from added sugar. A good rule of thumb is to skip products that have added sugar at or near the top of the list—or have several sources of added sugar sprinkled throughout the list."

But you'll need a thesaurus to even begin to recognize all the different names sugar can hide under on food labels. A good rule of thumb is to look for words that end in -ose, and anything that sounds like sugar (syrup, molasses, cane juice) almost certainly is.

Here are 61 of the most common aliases for sugar according to Sugar Science:

  1. Agave nectar
  2. Barbados sugar
  3. Barley malt syrup
  4. Beet sugar
  5. Brown sugar
  6. Buttered syrup
  7. Cane juice crystals
  8. Cane juice/sugar
  9. Caramel
  10. Carob syrup
  11. Coconut sugar
  12. Coconut palm sugar
  13. Corn syrup/sweetener
  14. Corn syrup solids
  15. Confectioner’s sugar
  16. Carob syrup
  17. Castor sugar
  18. Date sugar
  19. Dehydrated cane juice
  20. Demerara sugar
  21. Dextran
  22. Dextrose
  23. Evaporated cane juice
  24. Free flowing brown sugars
  25. Fructose
  26. Fruit juice
  27. Fruit juice concentrate
  28. Galactose
  29. Glucose
  30. Glucose solids
  31. Golden sugar
  32. Golden syrup
  33. Grape sugar
  34. High-fructose corn syrup
  35. Honey
  36. Icing sugar
  37. Invert sugar
  38. Lactose
  39. Maltodextrin
  40. Maltol
  41. Maltose
  42. Malt syrup
  43. Mannose
  44. Maple syrup
  45. Molasses
  46. Muscovado sugar
  47. Palm sugar
  48. Panocha
  49. Powdered sugar
  50. Raw sugar
  51. Refiner’s syrup
  52. Rice syrup
  53. Sorbitol
  54. Sorghum syrup
  55. Sucrose
  56. Sugar (granulated)
  57. Sweet sorghum
  58. Syrup
  59. Treacle
  60. Turbinado sugar
  61. Yellow sugar

Here are some easy suggestions on reducing your daily intake of sugar:

  • Snack on avocado, fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, low to no sugar yogurt instead sugar filled protein or snack bars, candy pastries and cookies
  • Skip the cereals in the morning, even the "healthy" ones. They tend to have more sugar than you think and will spike your blood sugar. Not a great way to start the day! Opt for protein rich breakfast like eggs and a veg.
  • Drink water or tea instead of sugary, non diet sodas or sports drinks.
  • Skip the juice. If you do drink it, make sure it's 100 percent juice from fruit. Better yet, eat the fruit rather than juice.
  • Look for hidden sugar in sneaky products that you wouldn't think has sugar! Examples include pasta sauce, salad dressing, bread, and ketchup.
  • Choose fresh fruit for dessert instead of cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream and other sweets.

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Note! This article was first written April 3, 2013 and updated on October 5, 2018

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