On my pursuit to help my patients understand labels I am becoming increasingly frustrated by the number of names and aliases sugar goes by. If we really want to avoid sugar we practically need to have a chemistry degree and a good memory. As consumers are becoming more aware and want to choose healthier options, food manufactures are becoming increasingly savvy. Here are some of the tricks they have been known to use.

First sugar no longer just goes by the name “sugar.” It has multiple names which I believe is a tactic to disguise what is truly in the foods. Most people are unable to associate the name with plain sugar and it often goes unnoticed.

Secondly, did you know ingredients are listed in a defined order. Ingredients at the top of the list are in the highest amounts. Companies will use multiple versions of sugar to avoid having “sugar” as the top ingredient. Most people read the first few lines of ingredients and move on. Having sugar as far down on the list as possible creates the impression that the sugar content is not as high. My hope is that if sugar was the #1 ingredient, less people would buy it. In my opinion these tactics are unethical.

So next time you read a label, look at the ingredient list and find all the names for sugar and tally them up. Another tip is to look at the total sugar per serving. If a serving size is only 1/4 cup make sure you aren’t consuming 2+ cups thinking the sugar content is the same.

Also be on the look out for packages that say “no sugar added” or “no added sugars” these still may be high in natural sugar.  Coconut sugar, cane sugar, palm sugar, dried fruit etc. is still sugar. Remember sugar is sugar no matter what it is called.

Here is a list of common disguises sugar goes by;

  • crystal fructose
  • caster sugar
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • coconut sugar
  • maple syrup
  • dextran sugar
  • oat syrup
  • barbados sugar
  • molasses syrup
  • rice syrup
  • sorghum syrup
  • demure sugar
  • malt sugar
  • galactose
  • date sugar
  • corn syrup solids
  • brown rice syrup
  • beet sugar
  • agave
  • lactose
  • icing sugar
  • dextrose
  • buttered syrup
  • treacle
  • barley malt
  • table sugar
  • cane juice
  • glucose
  • florida crystals
  • tapioca syrup
  • invert syrup
  • caramel
  • sucrose
  • blackstrap molasses
  • diastatic malt
  • corn sweetener
  • cane sugar
  • diatase
  • refiner’s sugar
  • corn syrup
  • cane juice crystals
  • golden syrup
  • tubinado sugar
  • buttered sugar
  • grape sugar
  • muscovado sugar
  • organic raw sugar
  • golden sugar
  • syrup
  • HFCS
  • carbo syrup
  • evaporated cane juice
  • confectioners sugar
  • rice bran syrup
  • rice malt syrup
  • brown sugar
  • fructose
  • malt syrup
  • fruit juice concentrate
  • ethyl maltol

What other names of sugar have you discovered? Comment below! These aren’t all of them.