Sneaky Terms for Sugar on Food Labels

April 17, 2018
women inspects juice labels in a supermarket

Understanding how to translate the information on food labels can be challenging. Nutrition information can be confusing, and the list of ingredients can be worded in different ways to purposefully mislead you about how healthy (or unhealthy) the product actually is.

Sadly, food labels have become more of a marketing tool rather than a resource of helpful information about the product. Companies often use fancy and misleading words on the list of ingredients to make you think that their product is healthy. Can you guess the word most commonly hidden? You got it: sugar!

Approximately 74% of packaged foods contain added sugar.

There are many reasons why Americans are eating entirely too much sugar. Sugar causes a release of endorphins that make you feel good, it is addicting, and we are finding it hidden in just about everything. There are easy ways to reduce your sugar intake, like cooking more food at home, making your own condiments and sauces, and making more informed choices when ordering food at a restaurant.

Another great way to reduce how much sugar you eat is to understand what words translate to mean sugar on food labels. Here is a list of ingredients that are actually the same as sugar:

Agave nectar
Barbados sugar
Barley malt
Barley malt syrup
Beet sugar
Brown sugar
Buttered syrup
Cane juice
Cane juice crystals
Cane sugar
Carob syrup
Castor sugar
Coconut palm sugar
Coconut sugar
Confectioner’s sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup
Corn syrup solids
Date sugar
Dehydrated cane juice
Demerara sugar
Diastatic malt
Ethyl Maltol
Evaporated cane juice
Florida crystals
Free-flowing brown sugars
Fruit juice
Fruit juice concentrate
Glucose solids
Golden sugar
Golden syrup
Grape sugar
HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
Icing sugar
Invert sugar
Malt syrup
Maple syrup
Molasses (or Blackstrap Molasses)
Palm sugar
Powdered sugar
Raw sugar
Refiner’s syrup
Rice syrup
Sorghum Syrup
Sugar (granulated)
Sweet Sorghum
Turbinado sugar
Yellow sugar

This list may be long but don’t feel the need to print it off and carry it in your pocket every time you head to the grocery store. Just remember to default to food items that contain a short list of ingredients (that you can understand), and whole unprocessed foods whenever possible.

Also keep in mind that the earlier the ingredient is listed on the product label, the more of that ingredient the product contains. So if you see a sugar listed within the first three ingredients stay away, if it’s lower on the list use your best judgement.

Check the labels on our products and you’ll only find natural ingredients that you can actually pronounce! With True Citrus Products, what you see is what you get. They are all made from real fruit without preservatives or artificial sweeteners. Our products are sweetened naturally with Stevia, and certified non-GMO.

[Credit: Hilmantel, Robin. “56 Different Names for Sugar.” Women’s Health.]
[Credit: Sugar Science. “Hidden in Plain Sight.”]

Tags: health tips, true citrus, nutrition, sugar