Don’t Be Fooled: 56 Ways You’re Lied To About Sugar

“A sugar with any other name tastes just as sweet” – notShakespeare

My biggest trigger-food is without a doubt high-sugar foods. This, as you can probably guess, is the worst news to hear when you are an unashamed sugar addict, perpetually found with a biscuit tin beside the bed and cookie crumbs constantly decorating your décolletage.

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Avoiding sugar is no mean feat, and food manufacturers like to make it ever harder for us. If it’s not already listed on the packet as one of the main ingredients, it’s being digested as glucose in the body (I’m talking carbs and other starchy foods), which causes the same spike in sugar levels that raw sugar would.

But I came across an article the other day which told me that – rather than sugar being plain in site in your local supermarket, it couldn’t be more hidden if it tried. It cites how it is the food manufacturers main goal to promote their product, if not for being a health product, but for it not seeming as bad as it could (because, generally, these products are really bad for you). So they mask over the main ball-breakers – the salt, sugar and fat in their products – and give them fancier names that make no sense to the average consumer.

The top three ingredients in a product’s list are the ones which matter the most as ingredients are listed in order of their proportion in the product – surprisingly not many consumers know this and it’s quite worrisome that they’re happy to be misled. So marketers move away from calling sugar it’s name… they call it other chemically-sounding names like sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, corn syrup solids and dextrose to name a few, put loads of different sounding sugar ingredients into the product, and distribute their amounts loosely throughout the product so that these sugar components – whilst taking up a large proportion of the product – don’t have to feature in the top three.

There are actually, in total, 56 ways sugar can be described not just as strictly ‘sugar’ on food packaging, with a whopping 38 not even stating ‘sugar’ at all in their description.

Below you’ll see a fully comprehensive list of all the ways sugar can be described on food packaging. If it’s not noted as a ‘fruit’s sugar’ i.e. grape sugar (which is still just pure sugar), then it’s labelled as ‘syrup’ or a chemical ending –ose… these all sound very different, but are in effect the same thing and are digested in the same way as the regular, basic ‘sugar’ you see glittering within a digestive biscuit.

So be careful – and keep a watchful eye of any of these ingredients creeping into the ingredients list of your favourite foods.

  1. Barley malt
  2. Barbados sugar
  3. Beet sugar
  4. Brown sugar
  5. Buttered syrup
  6. Cane juice
  7. Cane sugar
  8. Caramel
  9. Corn syrup
  10. Corn syrup solids
  11. Confectioner’s sugar
  12. Carob syrup
  13. Castor sugar
  14. Date sugar
  15. Dehydrated cane juice
  16. Demerara sugar
  17. Dextran
  18. Dextrose
  19. Diastatic malt
  20. Diatase
  21. Ethyl maltol
  22. Free Flowing Brown Sugars
  23. Fructose
  24. Fruit juice
  25. Fruit juice concentrate
  26. Galactose
  27. Glucose
  28. Glucose solids
  29. Golden sugar
  30. Golden syrup
  31. Grape sugar
  32. High fructose corn syrup
  33. Honey
  34. Icing sugar
  35. Invert sugar
  36. Lactose
  37. Malt
  38. Maltodextrin
  39. Maltose
  40. Malt syrup
  41. Mannitol
  42. Maple syrup
  43. Molasses
  44. Muscovado
  45. Panocha
  46. Powdered Sugar
  47. Raw sugar
  48. Refiner’s syrup
  49. Rice syrup
  50. Sorbitol
  51. Sorghum syrup
  52. Sucrose
  53. Sugar (granulated)
  54. Treacle
  55. Turbinado sugar
  56. Yellow sugar
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