How much hidden sugar do you eat? Here are some sugar synonyms to watch out for.

You might be surprised at sugar’s many disguises – there are a lot of sugar synonyms in the world of packaged food. 

According to Choice Magazine, some of those sugar synonyms include:

  • Agave nectar/syrup
  • Barley malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Carob syrup
  • Caster sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Coffee sugar crystals
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Date sugar/syrup
  • Demerara
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar/syrup
  • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado
  • Palm sugar
  • Panela
  • Powdered sugar
  • Rapadura
  • Raw sugar
  • Rice syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado
  • White sugar

That’s a long list!

How to Avoid Hidden Sugars

There are a few ways you can avoid these hidden sugars in packaged, canned, and pre-prepared foods.

  1. Read the label and look for few, simple ingredients with no fancy names.
  2. Check that the total amount of sugar in the food is less than 10g per 100g of the food.
  3. Avoid ingredients ending in ‘ose’ – this suffix ‘ose’ indicates a type of sugar– e.g. dextrose, fructose.
  4. Limit ingredients ending in ‘ols’ – these are ‘sugar alcohols’: not strictly sugars but derived from sugars, and can cause bloating and stomach upsets including diarrhea, when eating in excess.
  5. Choose ‘no added sugar’ versions of the food where possible.
  6. Try to purchase fresh fruits instead of dried or canned  fruits

Consider the total amount of packaged food that you eat each week, and where there might be opportunities to eat less of that hidden sugar. 

12 Sugar Swaps

If you want to reduce your intake of ‘added sugar’ from packaged foods, this list of 12 healthy sugar swaps will help you!

12 Healthy Sugar Swaps | Downsize Me

Food manufacturers change their formulas all the time, so it’s important to review the labels of your trusted brands from time to time, so you can be sure that nothing sneaky has happened.


Melanie White

Melanie White

Chief Inspiration Coach

I'm a quirky scientist and a Health and Wellness Coach who helps 35+ women to understand and eat right for their body type.