44 Nicknames for Added Sugar

by Elle Penner, MPH, RD
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44 Nicknames for Added Sugar

The American Heart Association recommends 25g of added sugar per day for women and 36g for men,  but on average, Americans consume a whopping 68g per day. If you’re shocked, you’re not alone, but it makes sense considering all the ways sugar can make its way into our food. Food manufacturers add sugar to foods under at least 44 different nicknames, so it’s no wonder we consume added sugar without realizing it.

On a food label, the section for sugars lists total sugars and added sugars. Total sugars include both added sugars and natural sugars (like the kind found in fruit). While all of the added sugars will be listed, you won’t find natural sugars listed in the ingredients.

Added sugar is the type you want to reduce in your diet because it doesn’t have any fiber, vitamins or minerals alongside it the way natural sugars do. Next time you’re grocery shopping, check out the nutrition facts and ingredients label and look for these ingredients to get a sense of how much added sugar is in your food.


  • Watch out for anything with “syrup” in the name
  • Ingredients ending in -ose (glucose, sucrose, fructose…) are typically sugars


  1. Agave nectar
  2. Barley malt syrup
  3. Beet sugar
  4. Brown rice syrup
  5. Brown sugar
  6. Cane crystals
  7. Cane juice crystals
  8. Cane sugar
  9. Corn sweetener
  10. Corn syrup
  11. Corn syrup solids
  12. Crystalline fructose
  13. Date sugar
  14. Dehydrated cane juice
  15. Dextrin
  16. Dextrose
  17. Evaporated cane juice
  18. Fructose
  19. Fruit juice
  20. Fruit juice concentrate
  21. Glucose
  22. Glucose solids
  23. Glycerol
  24. Golden brown sugar
  25. Golden syrup
  26. Grape sugar
  27. High fructose corn syrup
  28. Honey
  29. Invert sugar
  30. Lactose
  31. Malitol syrup*
  32. Malt syrup
  33. Maltose
  34. Maple syrup
  35. Molasses
  36. Raw sugar
  37. Rice syrup
  38. Saccharose
  39. Sorghum
  40. Sorghum syrup
  41. Sucrose
  42. Syrup
  43. Treacle
  44. Turbinado sugar

*Malitol Syrup is a sugar alcohol that provides approximately 3 calories per gram with a glycemic index (52), close to that of sugar (60). Glycerol provides approximately 4 calories per gram.

Originally published March 2014, updated January 2023

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About the Author

Elle Penner, MPH, RD

Elle is a nutrition and wellness writer, recipe developer, blogger and nutrition consultant whose favorite things include her camera, carbs and quality time with her toddler. For more from this busy mama, check out Elle’s lifestyle blog or connect with her on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.


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