50 Names for Sugar You May Not Know

Most of us enjoy sweet stuff occasionally. But, if you’re trying to cut back, it’s really helpful to know the different names for sugar, otherwise you could end up eating much more than you expected.

Sugar is added to so many food products, and with such a large number of other names for ‘sugar,’ it can be really difficult to know what to look out for on the food label.

flickr: dhammza

So, here is a list to help you identify the different forms of sugar in your food:

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

What other names for sugar can you think of?

Did you realise there were so many different terms used? It’s no wonder reading food labels can be confusing at times!

Note: After reading this, you may also be interested in How to Reduce Sugar Intake or discovering if there is such a thing as Healthy Sugar.

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About Melanie
Melanie is a Registered Dietitian who started Dietriffic in March 2007. Her aim is to make good health attainable and sustainable, without guilt and torture, making her approach popular with those who desire a level-headed approach to good health. Have you got your copy of her free book yet?


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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Danielle March 27, 2009 at 12:09 am

I had no idea there were that many names for sugar! thanks for posting this!

Danielle’s last blog post..The weekend is in sight…

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Melanie March 27, 2009 at 12:21 am

Hi Danielle,
I didn’t realise there were so many alternatives either. While is not necessary to totally avoid sugar, it’s useful to know what to look out for.

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Cathy in NZ March 28, 2009 at 5:15 am

then of course, there’s the actual product that some how fails to mention anything….i.e. do those chup-pop (?sp) things actually any writing about sugar….I often hear people saying that

xyz is OK ’cause it says nuthink! so therefore it must be Ok!

I suspect there are other ways not to say all those words….like a – bet-ween something……so we are lured into believing it must be better because they have attached a good-thing to the product :-)

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Sophie March 28, 2009 at 5:36 am

Great list Mel – some of these are really sneaky, like the Ethyl maltol and Diatase

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Bowl of Plenty March 28, 2009 at 5:52 am

An alternative name to “cane juice crystals” is “evaporated cane juice”.

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Maija Haavisto March 28, 2009 at 7:54 am

E.g. sorbitol is a sugar alcohol (like its healthier cousin xylitol), not a sugar, strictly speaking.

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Melanie March 28, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Hi everyone,
Thanks for your comments.

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Melanie April 1, 2009 at 7:00 pm

One80 Fitness,
Thank you for adding more to the list, it seems we could go on for a long time yet adding to this. It’s really quite scary how many different forms of sugar there are out there!

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One80 Fitness April 1, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Great list! the list is so long. a few more off the top of the head you might see on a package are:

Raisin syrup
Apple Sugar
Amasake
Barbados sugar
Carbitol

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Linda Schultz April 5, 2009 at 5:02 am

One sugar substance I have discovered recently is sugar alcohol in so called sugar free candies. If you have any information about this sugar substance please let me know about it.

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Melanie April 7, 2009 at 9:57 pm

Hi Linda,
I found this article which you should find helpful in understanding what sugar alcohols are and what they do in the body.

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Deborah November 7, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Xanthan Gum is fermented corn sugar. Locust Bean Gum is a polysacharide made from the sugars galactos & mannose. Galactos is on the above list. Mannose is a hexose sugar monomer & I am unsure of the results when eaten.

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Jennifer September 10, 2010 at 2:08 am

Im in a program for food addiction. We abstain from ALL flour & sugar. The second we have anything with a trace of either, we get UNCONTRALABLE cravings. I had heard that a certain brand of ranch dressing is abstinate. Well, I was wrong! I couldnt imagine why I couldnt stop eating & obessing about it. Well here maltodextrin is the first ingredient… Just goes to prove that I need to stay away from anything with a ingredient list… For now on the only dressing I will be using is good ole olive oil & apple cider vinagar…

Reply

Melanie September 17, 2010 at 8:57 am

Hi Jennifer,
What do you cover/do in your program for food addiction?

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Tareah Davis December 4, 2010 at 4:41 am

Thanks for making this forum. I’m in 8th grade and doing a project on how much sugar is in the junk food we eat daily and this really helped! THANKS AGAIN!!

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lenecen December 16, 2010 at 8:33 am

“We abstain from ALL flour & sugar. The second we have anything with a trace of either, we get UNCONTRALABLE cravings. I had heard that a certain brand of ranch dressing is abstinate. Well, I was wrong! I couldnt imagine why I couldnt stop eating & obessing about it.”
Are you sure that this is so?

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guy thayer January 31, 2011 at 7:22 pm

an alternative to sugar is a plant called stevia, it is 300x sweeter than sugar. u can get it in powder form on line

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TheGourmetCoffeeGuy May 3, 2011 at 4:35 am

It’s really amazing how much sugar is in just about everything you eat, buy at restaurants, canned food, and so on. Your list is excellent and further emphasizes the need to really watch sugar content before consuming foods. Eating sugar or any other food in moderation is the right thing to do but it is hard to do this when food sources contain so much sugar.
Very good post, important to raise awareness about this problem.

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Melanie May 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Yes, it really is amazing when you stop to take a look at the ingredients of processed foods. I guess the best thing to do is avoid most processed foods.

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hannah September 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

Agave is a slow release fructose syrup from the agave cactus. although not as bad as sugar, still a sugar derivitive. so if you are allergic to sugar or trying to obstain from it then add this to the list.

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Melanie September 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Thanks Hannah.

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Ford Raptor LED Light Bars April 8, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Rather instructive, look onward to coming back again.|

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Rome April 10, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Very interesting. Many sneaky companies use these names to hide their sugar contents and deceive their customers. I had to do a double take on #40 because I believe the word is Mexican slang for a certain Lady part. I’m curious to find out the origin on this alternate word for sugar but afraid to look it up…

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Amanda October 4, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Is sucrose the same as sucralose?

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Melanie October 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

Hi Amanda,
Sucrose is the naturally occurring sugar, which we usually call table sugar. Sucralose is a sweetener, produced artificially.

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Amanda October 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Thank you!

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