The Other Names For Added Sugars
Gimme Some [Insert “Hidden Sugar” Name Here], Baby.
We have all heard the phrase “added sugars” in the realm of food, but do we all know how to identify these satisfying sweeteners in the ingredients sections of our food labels? For that matter, should some sugars be avoided?
First, so we are on the same page, let’s define sugar as:
“Any carbohydrate that can be consumed and broken down into glucose in the body.”
If you are wondering, glucose is commonly mentioned when people talk about “blood sugar;” it is the main fuel for our bodies. Please understand, this definition of sugar does not just describe your typical “table sugar,” also known as sucrose, it covers a much broader spectrum.
Now let’s talk about the importance of sugars in your body. I’ll make this short and sweet; YOU NEED THEM.1 There is no way around it; you must consume sugars to live, however, too much sugar in your diet can lead to fat storage in the body.2 Simply put, energy in equals energy out,1,3,4 and if you consume sugar (energy) and do not need it or exceed your glycogen stores, your body will store it as fat.1
Ok, so what about added sugars? Realistically, you can get by without foods that contain added sugars in your diet, you just have to eat foods with naturally occurring sugars in them, preferably nutrient dense foods. Yes, your breakfast Cheerios may taste better with a scoop of sucrose on them, but consider your personal energy needs before sprinkling that sweetness! If you have not read my post about The 90-10 Rule of Dieting, click the linked text to see if you’re living by The 90-10 Rule.
I want to leave you with one piece of advice, and a slice of information:
Piece of advice: When deciding how to consume your sugars, go for nutrient dense foods, or foods that satisfy your macro- and micro- nutrient needs in as few calories as possible. Some specific examples – kale, spinach, blueberries, whole-grain rice, beans.
Slice of information: I have taken the liberty of collecting over 25 names used for commonly added sugars in food (can you believe there are so many?!) and listed them here for your reference.5
The Other Names for Added Sugars
confectioner’s powdered sugar
corn syrup solids
evaporated corn sweetener
fruit juice concentrate
high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
sugar cane juice
evaporated cane juice
white granulated sugar
Now that you’re more aware of the other names for added sugars, what are some of the foods you’ve found one or more of these names listed on the ingredient label? Share them below so we can all see what foods we may want to consider avoiding if we’re trying to avoid added sugars.
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Cover photo: Lynn of FreshAprilFlours.com
1. Genton L, Melzer K, Pichard C. Energy and macronutrient requirements for physical fitness in exercising subjects. Clinical Nutrition. 2010; 29(4):413-423.
2. Johnson RK, Frary C. Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugars: measurement requires quantification. Journal of Nutrition. 2001; 131(2S-1):527S-535S.
3. Fernández JM, Da Silva-Grigoletto ME, Caballero-Villarraso J, et al. Pre-exercise intake of different carbohydrates modifies ischemic reactive hyperemia after a session of anaerobic, but not after aerobic exercise. Strength And Conditioning Research. 2010; 24(6):1623-1632.
4. Baker LB, Heaton LE, Nuccio RP, et al. Dietitian-observed macronutrient intakes of young skill and team-sport athletes: adequacy of pre, during, and postexercise nutrition. International Journal Of Sport Nutrition And Exercise Metabolism. 2014; 24(2):166-176.
5. USDA: Choosemyplate.gov. Empty calories: what are added sugars? USDA. 2015. Accessed on: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/weight-management-calories/calories/added-sugars.html.