Secret Sugars: The 56 Different Names for Sugar

Sugar is a master of disguise: just because you don’t see “sugar” on the ingredient list when scanning a nutrition label does not guarantee the item is sugar or sweetener-free. Sugar goes by a slew of different names, making it easy for manufacturers to hide how much sugar is truly in a given product. A whopping 56 different names! While some of these names are more obvious, like brown and cane sugar, others are trickier to spot (e.g., Maltodextrin and dextrose).

Shockingly, over 68% of barcoded food products sold in the US contain added sweeteners — even if they are labeled as “natural” or “healthy.”1 The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all packaged food and beverage nutrition labels display the sugar content per serving. However, most manufacturers have until January 1, 2020 to display if a product includes added sugars.2


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