The Many Names of Sugar

As we’ve covered extensively in this blog, sugar is enemy number one when it comes to nutrition and wreaking all sorts of havoc on your health. Food companies know we love it and they try to put it in EVERYTHING. It’s even in salad dressing, which has always seemed weird to me. The problem is that food companies sneak it into many products under different names. So, you read the nutrition label and think, “Oh great, no sugar,” but it’s there just hiding under another name. So, to help you guys out, we’re going to go over the most commonly used names for sugar. 

  • Fructose/high fructose corn syrup – This is the main one and the easiest one to spot, if you see this on a food label run for the hills.
  • Sucrose – This one is usually a close second in terms of frequency, this is a mixture of glucose/fructose.
  • Barley malt/barley malt syrup – I don’t see this one too often, but it pops up and is just another way of saying high fructose corn syrup.
  • Dextrose – This one you’ll see pretty regularly. This is a simple sugar made from starch, not quite as bad as the rest but still something you want to stay away from.
  • Maltose – This is very much also like high fructose corn syrup.
  • Rice syrup – This is becoming the new popular one and to be honest if you see syrup, you should know it’s no good.
  • Cane juice/evaporated cane juice – This is straight from the sugar canes and mostly fructose, so again, not something you want to mess with.
  • Corn syrup – There’s syrup again!
  • Ethyl maltol – This is just a different chemical compound for table sugar. It sometimes gets used in perfumes, so I don’t think eating it is a great idea.
  • Demerara – This is also very much like fructose, but appears more like brown sugar.
  • Diastase – This is basically another way of saying maltose which is another way of saying high fructose corn syrup.

There you have it guys! The food companies will find ways to change the name of high fructose corn syrup 100 times over (this list is definitely not non-exhaustive; just some starters for you). They know we love it and they know we just want to be sure we aren’t eating it. The only real way to arm yourself is to have the knowledge of all the different names they can give it. Be on the lookout, and watch out for sugar!!

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