sugar names

Did you know there are 56 different names for sugar?

This is how the food industry hides sugar in your food.

Unfortunately, manufactured food often contains added sugar, and even the name sugar is disguised. Most processed foods contain hidden sugars and the majority of people just don’t realise they are eating it.

Some sugar names you will be very familiar with like brown sugar, raw sugar, treacle, and honey. Others are much less familiar such as diastatic malt, ethyl maltol, or corn syrup.

Learn to Read Food Labels

Firstly, it’s important to know how to read food labels so you can easily identify if a product has added sugar in it.

Secondly, labels always list the ingredients in the order of volume, so the most used is first.

If the sugar is listed in first or second in the ingredients list, that’s a warning sign to not buy the product.

Be aware of salt-free products. Sugar is often added to these to counteract the lack of salt. Ironic? Ah, yes!

The same principle applies to low fat or fat-free products. Fat provides flavour in foods. When it is removed, the food is bland so sugar is added to enhance the flavour. Don’t be afraid of fat.

Importantly, to keep your sugar intake low, a simple rule of thumb is to check the label for how many carbs in 100g of the food and put it back on the shelf if there is more than 5g per 100g.

Nutrition Panels

The below nutrition panel is for Nutrigrain, an Australian breakfast cereal. Ironically it has 4 stars out of 5 on the Health Star Rating system, which means it is considered a healthy product.

However, look how much sugar is in 100g. 24.2g of the ingredients is sugar which means the cereal is 24% sugar.

Note that a recommended serving size is only 40g. That’s about 2.7 tablespoons. Nowhere near a bowl size that most people would consume.

nutrition panel

What about a nutrition panel for BBQ sauce? Note it contains 54% sugar.

sugar nutrition panel

Let’s look at the ingredient list for the BBQ sauce below.

In this case, the 2nd ingredient is sugar, but so is the 7th (Glucose syrup) and 8th (Colour/Caramel). That’s three different sugars in one product.

Tomatoes 42% (From Paste), Sugar, Water, Thickeners (Cornflour (from Wheat) Pectin), Food Acids (Acetic, Citric), Salt, Glucose Syrup (from Wheat), Colour (Caramel 150c) Tamarind Paste, Spices 0.5% (Clove, Nutmeg, Pepper), Yeast Extract, Onion 0.5%.

The List of Sugar Names to Look Out For

Below is the list of names for sugar, in alphabetical order.

The ones marked with an asterisk contain the form of sugar known as fructose.

  • Agave nectar*
  • Barbados sugar*
  • Barley malt*
  • Beet sugar*
  • Blackstrap molasses*
  • Brown rice syrup*
  • Brown sugar*
  • Buttered syrup*
  • Cane juice crystals*
  • Cane sugar*
  • Caramel*
  • Carob syrup*
  • Castor sugar*
  • Confectioner’s sugar*
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Crystalline fructose*
  • Date sugar*
  • Demerara sugar*
  • Dextran
  • Dextrose
  • Diastatic malt
  • Diatase
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Evaporated cane juice*
  • Florida crystals*
  • Fructose*
  • Fruit juice*
  • Fruit juice concentrate*
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar*
  • Golden syrup*
  • Grape sugar*
  • High-fructose corn syrup*
  • Honey*
  • Icing sugar*
  • Invert sugar*
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup*
  • Molasses*
  • Muscovado sugar*
  • Organic raw sugar*
  • Panocha*
  • Raw sugar*
  • Refiner’s syrup*
  • Rice syrup
  • Sorghum syrup*
  • Sucrose*
  • Sugar*
  • Treacle*
  • Turbinado sugar*
  • Yellow sugar*
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