74 Sneaky Other Names Sugar Hides Under

74 Sneaky Other Names Sugar Hides Under

We eat a lot of sugar — more than most of us realize. And while we know to go easy on sweet treats like candy and ice cream, sugar is also hidden in some surprising foods — like bread, almond milk, and even salad dressing — and listed under names you might not recognize as sugar.

How can you cut back on sugar if you don’t even know what ingredients to look for on the nutrition label? Here’s what you need to know about all the other names for sugar.

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What is Added Sugar?

other names for sugar- added sugar

Before we get into the other names for sugar, we first have to differentiate between the two major ways we get it in our diet — a.k.a. natural sugar and added sugar.

“Fruits and grains have a naturally occurring sugar which comes with fiber, vitamins, and minerals,” says Emily Tills, MS, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Syracuse, New York. “Added sugar is sugar that is not naturally occurring within the food— it is usually added to increase the sweetness or taste of foods.”

The problem, Tills adds, is that added sugars are empty calories — they don’t provide the fiber, vitamins, and minerals you’d get from eating a piece of fresh fruit, for example.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend we consume no more than 10 percent of our daily calories from added sugar. And the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to less than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day for women, and less than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) per day for men.


Is There A Difference Between Glucose and Fructose?

Glucose and fructose are two types of sugar. Both can be found naturally in food, and they contain the same amount of calories. But glucose and fructose have different chemical structures, and they’re digested and metabolized differently once consumed.

“Glucose is what our bodies use for energy and is stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver,” says Tills. Glucose is a monosaccharide, meaning it’s a simple unit of sugar that is one molecule.

Fructose, also a monosaccharide, is a naturally occurring sugar in fruit. When converted to glucose in the liver, our bodies use it for energy, Tills explains. Fructose from fruit is allowed in moderation on certain sugar free plans, but added fructose — such as from high fructose corn syrup or agave syrup — in excess has been linked to negative health effects.


74 Other Names for Sugar

names of sugar- types of sugar

By some accounts, there are more than 250 other names for sugar — but these are some of the names you’re most likely to find on ingredient lists. When you’re trying to cut back on your sugar consumption, watch out for sugar hiding under these aliases.

  1. Agave juice
  2. Agave nectar
  3. Agave syrup, all varieties
  4. Barley malt
  5. Beet sugar
  6. Blackstrap molasses
  7. Brown rice syrup
  8. Brown sugar
  9. Buttered syrup
  10. Cane juice
  11. Cane juice crystals
  12. Cane sugar
  13. Cane syrup
  14. Caramel
  15. Carob syrup
  16. Castor sugar
  17. Coconut sugar
  18. Confectioners’ sugar
  19. Corn glucose syrup
  20. Corn syrup
  21. Corn syrup solids
  22. Date sugar/syrup
  23. Demerara sugar
  24. Dextrose
  25. Diastatic malt
  26. Drimol
  27. Ethyl maltol
  28. Evaporated cane juice
  29. Flo malt
  30. Florida crystals
  31. Fructose
  32. Fructose sweetener
  33. Fruit juice
  34. Fruit juice concentrate
  35. Glucose
  36. Glucose solids
  37. Golden sugar
  38. Golden syrup
  39. Granular sweetener
  40. Granulated sugar
  41. Grape sugar
  42. High fructose corn syrup (an added sugar derived from corn starch and commonly found in processed foods)
  43. Honey
  44. Honibake
  45. Icing sugar
  46. Inverted sugar (a.k.a. invert sugar)
  47. Isoglucose
  48. Isomaltulose
  49. Kona-ame
  50. Malt syrup
  51. Malt, all varieties
  52. Maltodextrin
  53. Maltose
  54. Maple
  55. Maple sugar
  56. Maple syrup
  57. Mizu-ame
  58. Molasses
  59. Muscovado sugar
  60. Nulomoline
  61. Panela sugar
  62. Powdered sugar
  63. Raw sugar
  64. Refiner’s syrup
  65. Rice syrup
  66. Sorghum syrup
  67. Starch sweetener
  68. Sucanat
  69. Sucrovert
  70. Sugar beet
  71. Treacle or treacle sugar
  72. Turbinado sugar
  73. Unrefined sugar
  74. Yellow sugar


Which Sweeteners are Allowed on a Sugar Free Diet?

It depends on the diet, but generally speaking, naturally occurring sugars (like those found in fruit and milk) can be part of a healthy diet. Here are a few types of sweeteners you may be allowed to consume on a sugar free diet.

  • Foods with naturally occurring sugars

On some sugar free plans, Tills says, “Naturally occurring sugar can still be included, so you can still have your fruits, vegetables, and grains.” This includes the fructose in fresh fruits and the lactose in milk.

  • Sugar alcohols

Some sugar free diets also allow foods infused with sugar alcohols, while others don’t. These compounds— which may be naturally occurring or chemically produced — taste sweet, but they aren’t absorbed like sugar and don’t have the same impact on blood sugar but still have calories.

Some sugar alcohols you might find on an ingredient label include:

  • Erythritol
  • Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates
  • Isomalt
  • Lactitol
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol

One downside: Because they’re absorbed through the digestive tract slowly and incompletely, sugar alcohols may cause stomach discomfort, bloating, and gas in people.

  • Monkfruit

Monk fruit sweetener — an extract that’s 25 to 100 times sweeter than sugar — is a non-nutritive sweetener that doesn’t add calories.

  • Stevia

This natural sweetener is 50 to 350 times sweeter than table sugar. Because stevia is a plant extract and doesn’t add calories, 100 percent stevia extract may be allowed on some sugar free diets.

names for sugar


Meagan Morris a writer specializing in all things related to health and wellness. Her work has been featured in The Atlantic, Yahoo Health, Cosmopolitan, SELF, and Women's Health, among others. Learn more at meaganleamorris.com.