If you’re trying to limit the amount of sugar you eat, then you need to learn the other names for sugar on food labels. Sugar comes in so many forms and goes by so many names that looking for sugar on a label can feel like finding a needle in a haystack! Fortunately, with a little bit of knowledge you’ll quickly become an expert at recognizing sugar on food labels and avoid having your health and weight loss efforts sabotaged.
Sugar Consumption Stats
- The average American consumes at least 64 pounds of sugar per year, and the average teenage boy at least 109 pounds.
- Per capita consumption of added sugars has risen by 28 percent since 1983.
- Americans consume 22 teaspoons of added sugars a day, teens 34 teaspoons.
Why Worry About Sugar?
Sugar is often a hidden ingredient in processed foods. Among other things, it enhances flavor, promotes browning and aids in preservation; however, the high sugar content in foods comes with a trade off. Excessive sugar intake can lead to type 2 diabetes, contribute to metabolic syndrome and lead to excessive weight gain. The empty calories in sugar don’t provide any nutritional benefit to the body, which is why it is important to know other names for sugar on food labels.
The ‘Added Sugar’ Loop Hole and Deceptive Product Labelling
Four examples of foods that have divided their total added sugar content between several confusing synonyms (note where these names are positioned on the ingredient list).
Granola (whole grain oats, brown sugar, crisp rice (rice flour, sugar, salt, malted barley extract), whole grain rolled wheat, soybean oil, dried coconut, whole wheat flour, sodium bicarbonate, soy lecithin, caramel color, nonfat dry milk), corn syrup, semisweet chocolate chips, brown rice crisp, sunflower oil, oligofructose, polydextrose, corn syrup solids, glycerin. Contains 2 percent or less of water, invert sugar, salt, molasses, sucralose, natural and artificial flavor, BHT, citric acid
Soy protein nuggets, Yogurt coating (sugar, palm kernel oil, nonfat fry milk solids, Yogurt powder, soy lecithin, salt), corn syrup, milk protein isolate, fructose, almonds, palm oil, water
Whole grain wheat flour, unbleached enriched flour, soybean oil, sugar, cornstarch, malt syrup, salt, invert sugar, monoglycerides, leavening, vegetable color
Enriched flour, soybean oil with TBHQ for freshness, sugar, contains two percent of less of: salt, leavening, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, cornstarch, soy lecithin