maple syrup. milk, apple, and orange juice

Who Knew There Could Be So Many Names for Sugar?

I did not know until I had a great visit with a nurse practitioner many years ago who specializes in treating those living with type 2 diabetes. She asked me the simple question how many names do you know for sugar? I told her I knew 12. Then she asked me the names of the sugar I knew.

She applauded me and said you know more than the average person. I only knew that many because of a science class years ago. We learned 20 different names, but 12 stuck with me. She shared with me that she asks each patient the same question so that she can get an idea of how many people know about hidden sugar.

The many names of sugar

Now I knew there were 20, but I sure did not know there were over 50. She listed them by name, and I could not believe she knew all of the names. I want to unmask all the names so you can understand what you get when shopping and reading food labels. Below is a list of all the names I could find. Make a copy, shrink it, and let's all put it in our purses or wallets, so we don't stay in the dark. When things say sugar-free, they most likely have some of the listed sugars below.

  1. Agave nectar
  2. Blackstarp molasses
  3. Barbados sugar
  4. Barley malt
  5. Beet sugar
  6. Brown sugar
  7. Buttered syrup
  8. Cane juice crystals
  9. Cane sugar
  10. Caramel
  11. Corn syrup
  12. Corn syrup solids
  13. Confectioner's sugar
  14. Carob syrup
  15. Castor sugar
  16. Date sugar
  17. Demerara sugar
  18. Dextrose
  19. Dextran
  20. Dehydrated cane juice
  21. Diastatic malt
  22. Diatase
  23. Ethyl maltol
  24. Evaporated cane juice
  25. Free-flowing brown sugars
  26. Fructose
  27. Fruit juice
  28. Fruit juice concentrate
  29. Galactose
  30. Glucose
  31. Glucose solids
  32. Golden sugar
  33. Golden syrup
  34. Grape sugar
  35. High-fructose corn syrup
  36. Honey
  37. Icing sugar
  38. Invert sugar (this is the sugar bakers prefer to use)
  39. Lactose
  40. Locust bean gum
  41. Maltodextrin
  42. Mannose
  43. Maltose
  44. Malt syrup
  45. Maple syrup
  46. Molasses
  47. Muscovado
  48. Powdered sugar
  49. Plum sugar
  50. Panocha
  51. Raw Sugar
  52. Refiner's syrup
  53. Rice syrup
  54. Saccharose
  55. Sorbitol
  56. Sorghum syrup
  57. Sucrose
  58. Sugar
  59. Treacle
  60. Turbinado sugar
  61. Xanthan gum
  62. Yellow sugar

That's many more than I thought I would find!! Some of these are derived from cane sugar; some are derived from fruit. Others are derived from corn. Some are sweeteners and some end in "-ose" (those are chemical names for sugars).

All of these terms for sugar can really fool you if you don't stay on the lookout. To this day, I feel like some have been added to the list. It's growing and probably still will. Just remember this, sugar-free does not always mean there is no sugar.

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