44 Nicknames for Added Sugar

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

If you’re trying to cut down on foods or beverages with added sugar, you undoubtedly have a couple of obstacles to hurdle. First, food and beverage manufacturers (at least in the U.S.) are not required to differentiate added sugars from natural ones—at least not yet–which means looking at a nutrition label is futile, unless you happen to know the approximate grams of naturally occurring sugar in a particular food.

This leaves consumers scanning ingredient lists, which poses another challenge. Food manufacturers have come up with some pretty creative names for added sugar over the past few years, making it nearly impossible to pick them out if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

To help you spot them, I scoured dozens of packaged foods and put together this list of 44 nicknames for added sugar. Feel free to print it or Pin It so you’re prepared the next time you go food shopping. Even taking a thorough look at the list right now will probably help you spot some of these less common nicknames in the future!

Hello Healthy Tips:

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


  • Phil Thompson

    As the label lists “sugars” I don’t bother with this, it’s there in grams. I’m not aware that natural sugar already in say fruit is different to natural sugar from cane added to the fruit, so the total is good for me.

  • SababaShahid

    Sorghum and sorghum syrup I’ve noticed on a few packages, but haven’t been concerned over till now.

  • Bubba

    glycerol isn’t sugar.

  • Bubba

    Did you read the whole page?

    ” Circulating glycerol does not glycate proteins like glucose or fructose do, and does not lead to the formation of advanced glycation endproducts.”


    “Before glycerol can enter the pathway of glycolysis or gluconeogenesis (depending on physiological conditions), it must be converted to their intermediate glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate.”


    “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carbohydrate designation includes all caloric macronutrientsexcluding protein and fat. Glycerol has a caloric density similar to table sugar, but a lower glycemic index and** different metabolic pathway within the body** [see the above quotes], so some dietary advocates accept glycerol as a sweetener compatible with low carbohydrate diets.”

    Polyols are not metabolized as sugars and that’s why they are called “alcohol sugars” and not just “sugars”.

  • teamAmelia

    My first thought was, “I don’t think I wanna see the list.” But, then I realized that I don’t look at the labels anyway. =D Very interesting read, though.

  • cyn

    Anything with “itol” on the end is a sugar alcohol and makes my family sick.

  • M

    lol, Seriously? Those are all real things. “Added sugars” should be considered the nickname…

  • I wonder the nutritional benefits of each item. All sugars aren’t just empty calories.

  • Pingback: So You Want to Stop… Eating Added Sugar | Hello Healthy()

  • Little_Monster

    Can someone please tell cows to stop adding lactose to everything?! I’d be able to enjoy their wares more without it!

  • ccrow

    Not to be picky, but it’s ‘maltitol’, not ‘malitol’.

  • Tarra

    Any thoughts on erythritol?

  • Stef

    I thought Agave nectar brown maple syrup was good for you…

  • Padma

    Palm sugar is not found in the list. Palm sugar is cooked and prepared from the extract of palm fruit. But palm candy is not cooked butfilled in an earthen Pot and digged under the ground for years to form like candy in the natural way. It is added to the Ayurveda and Siddha medicines particularly for cough and throat ailments. In rural they add the powdered candy to tea and desserts.
    Whether this is also to be to the list?