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Sugar and Its Many Names

Content by: Sarah Bigbee, RD

Decode the nutrition label! Some common ingredients that are equivalent to "added sugars" are found on a food label. Learn to identify alternative names for sugar and sweeteners.

Sugar and Its Many Names


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In recent years the push for decreasing added sugar in the diet has increased. More and more, people are looking for added sugar in their food products and trying to stay away from foods with high added sugar contents. When reading a food label it is important to note there are many names for sugar.

Below is a list of common ingredient names you may read on a nutrition facts label that are added sugar.

▪️ Agave nectar
▪️ Barley malt
▪️ Beet sugar
▪️ Black strap molasses
▪️ Brown sugar
▪️ Caramel
▪️ Carob syrup
▪️ Coconut sugar
▪️ Corn sweetener
▪️ Corn syrup
▪️ Date sugar
▪️ Dehydrated cane juice
▪️ Dextrose
▪️ Fructose
▪️ Fruit juice
▪️ Fruit juice concentrate
▪️ Galactose
▪️ Golden sugar
▪️ Golden syrup
▪️ High fructose corn syrup
▪️ Honey
▪️ Malt sugar
▪️ Maltodextrin
▪️ Maltose
▪️ Maple sugar
▪️ Palm sugar
▪️ Polydextrose
▪️ Rice sugar
▪️ Turbinado

This list is long, and it does not represent all of the names for sugar. Sugar can be quite overwhelming, but we offer a few quick tips and tricks to identify that it's in the list.

Quick Tips to ID sugar:

1️⃣ A word, i.e. barley or date, followed by the word malt, juice, sugar, or syrup is a sugar.

2️⃣ A word ending with -ose, i.e. dextrose, maltose is a sugar.

3️⃣ Products that end in -ol, i.e. Sorbitol, Xylitol, are sugar alcohols. These products offer sweetness with lower calories and less impact on blood sugar levels.

*️⃣ NOTE: They are NOT included in the nutrition fact label under added sugar content.

Next Steps!
Read the food label and learn to identify contemporary forms of added sugars.

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