Other names for sugar: 71 ways it hides on the label

  • Sugar has many different names, which can make it difficult to cut added sugar from your diet.
  • Reducing your added-sugar intake can benefit your health and even help with weight loss.
  • Here are 71 names for sugar you should look for on nutrition labels.

We eat a lot of sugar – more than most of us. And while we know to limit sweet treats like candy and ice cream, sugar is also hiding in some surprising foods—like bread, nut milk, and even salad dressing.

Because sugar has many names – some you may not even recognize as sugar.

“Yes, sugar is hiding in plain sight,” says Dr. Whitney Bowe Sugar free 3.

“And it can be called something other than ‘sugar,'” she says. “Cane sugar, sucrose, fructose, agave nectar, high fructose corn syrup — but sugar is sugar, no matter how you make it. There are over sixty different names for sugar!

How can you cut back on sugar if you don’t recognize it on the nutrition label? Here’s what you need to know about these other names for sugar so you can make more conscious food choices.

Think you already know how to handle your sugar? Before you read on, test your knowledge and see how many hidden sugars you can spot!

Take the quiz!

What is added sugar?

People are adding sugar to coffee  Other Names of Sugar

Before we get into the other names of sugar, we must first distinguish between the two main ways we get it in our diet – aka natural sugar and added sugar.

“Fruits and grains naturally contain sugars that come with fiber, vitamins, and minerals,” says Emily Tilles, MS, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Syracuse, New York. “Added sugar is sugar that doesn’t occur naturally in foods – it’s usually added to sweeten or flavor foods.”

Added sugars are empty calories, Till explains.

They don’t provide the fiber, vitamins and minerals — from eating a piece of fresh fruit, for example — that help your body process sugar more healthily.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that we consume no more than 10 percent of our daily calories from added sugar.

And the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to less than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day for women and less than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) per day for men.

71 Other names for sugar

By some accounts, there are over 250 other names for sugar. “Avoiding sugar can be difficult if you don’t make a conscious effort and know what to look for,” says Dr. Bowe.

Here are some of the sugar names you’ll likely find on the ingredients list. When you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake, be careful of sugar hiding under these aliases.

  1. agave juice
  2. Agave nectar
  3. Agave syrup, all kinds
  4. bit of sugar
  5. Blackstrap molasses
  6. Brown rice syrup
  7. brown sugar
  8. Butter syrup
  9. Cane juice
  10. Cane juice crystals
  11. sugarcane
  12. Cane syrup
  13. Caramel
  14. Carob syrup
  15. Castor sugar
  16. coconut sugar
  17. Confectioner’s sugar
  18. Corn glucose syrup
  19. Corn syrup
  20. Corn syrup solids
  21. Date sugar/syrup
  22. Demerara sugar
  23. dextrose
  24. Dremel
  25. Ethyl Malt
  26. Evaporated cane juice
  27. Flow drawing
  28. Florida crystal
  29. fructose
  30. Fructose sweetener
  31. fruit juice
  32. Fruit juice concentrate
  33. Glucose
  34. Glucose is solid
  35. Golden sugar
  36. Golden syrup
  37. Granular sweet
  38. zinc sugar
  39. grape sugar
  40. High fructose corn syrup (an added sugar derived from corn starch and commonly found in processed foods)
  41. honey
  42. honey bake
  43. dry sugar
  44. Inverted sugar (aka inverted sugar)
  45. isoglucose
  46. Isomaltulose
  47. His-and
  48. Malt syrup
  49. Maltodextrin
  50. Maltose
  51. Maple
  52. Maple sugar
  53. Maple syrup
  54. Mizu-Ame
  55. molasses
  56. Muscovoda sugar
  57. Nulomoline
  58. sugar pan
  59. powdered sugar
  60. raw sugar
  61. Refiner’s syrup
  62. Rice syrup
  63. Sorghum syrup
  64. Starch is sweet
  65. informed
  66. Sucrovert
  67. Sugar beet plant
  68. Treacle or treacle sugar
  69. Turbocharged sugar
  70. unrefined sugar
  71. yellow sugar

What is the difference between glucose and fructose?

Form of sugar  Other Names of Sugar

Glucose and fructose are two different types of sugar. Both are found naturally in foods and contain the same amount of calories.

But glucose and fructose have different chemical structures and are digested and metabolized differently once consumed.


Glucose is a monosaccharide, meaning it is a simple unit of sugar that is one molecule.

“Glucose is what our body uses for energy and is stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver,” Tills says.


Fructose, also a monosaccharide, is a naturally occurring sugar in fruit. When converted to glucose in the liver, our bodies use it for energy, Tills explains.

Fructose from fruit is allowed in moderation on some sugar-free plans, but added fructose — such as from high-fructose corn syrup or agave syrup — has been linked to negative health effects in excess.

What sweets are allowed on a sugar-free diet?

It depends on the diet, but generally speaking, naturally occurring sugars (such as sugar in fruit and milk) can be part of a healthy diet. Here are a few types of sweets that you may be allowed to eat on a sugar-free diet.

1. Naturally Carbohydrate Foods

Regarding some sugar-free plans, Tills says, “Naturally occurring sugars may still be included, so you can still get your fruits, vegetables and grains.”

These include fructose from fresh fruit and lactose from milk.

2. Sugar alcohols

Some sugar-free diets also allow foods containing sugar alcohols, while others do not.

These compounds—which can occur naturally or be chemically produced—taste sweet, but they’re not absorbed like sugar and don’t have the same effect on blood sugar, but still contain calories.

Some sugar alcohols you may find on ingredient labels include:

  • Erythritol
  • Hydrogenated starch hydrolysate
  • Isomalt
  • Lactitol
  • Multitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol

Pro tip: If you see an “itol” at the end of it, that means it’s a sugar alcohol, says Michele Pramalaico, author of Sugar free 3.

“It’s not a great name for them because they’re not sugar or alcohol,” she says “They are, however, chemically processed artificial sweeteners, so they’re a no-go in our program.”

Because they are slowly and incompletely absorbed through the digestive system, sugar alcohols can cause stomach discomfort, bloating, and gas in humans.

3. Monk fruits

Monk fruit sweetener – an extract that is 25 to 100 times sweeter than sugar – is a non-nutritive sweetener that does not add calories.

4. Stevia

This natural sweetener is 50 to 350 times sweeter than table sugar. Because stevia is a plant extract and does not add calories, some sugar-free foods may allow 100 percent stevia extract.

List of other names of sugar  Other Names of Sugar

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