The Danger of Hidden Sugar

There are so many names for hidden sugar it is not even funny. After just a little online research you could find there are close to 60 different names for sugar! 😱

It turns out there are a lot of ways to process and refine food. As a result, substances that affect your body in the same way as sugar chemically, may not always be called "sugar." In this article we're going to take a look at many names for sugar, and how to recognize it on your food labels!

Arm yourself with the knowledge to recognize sugar when you see it no matter what name its called by!

What is Sugar?

Before you can recognize the names for hidden sugar let's take a look at the genuine article. "Sugar" is simply a generic name for sweet-tasting carbohydrates. Where things get tricky is the fact that a lot of substances fall under that umbrella. The two you've likely already heard of are sucrose (table sugar) and high fructose corn syrup.

High Fructose Corn Syrup, abbreviated HFCS, is a highly processed sweetener introduced in the 1970s. HFCS seems to be in just about every packaged food you come across. Just read any ingredients label on any common processed foods you may have in a bag, box, or can.

High Fructose Corn Syrup Has Effectively Replaced Sucrose in the U.S.

Here's an interesting factoid about the decline of widespread use of sucrose in the Standard American Diet.

After being classified as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1976, HFCS began to replace sucrose as the main sweetener of soft drinks in the United States. At the same time, rates of obesity rose. That correlation, in combination with laboratory research and epidemiological studies that suggested a link between consuming large amounts of fructose and changes to various proxy health measures, including elevated blood triglycerides, size and type of low-density lipoproteins, uric acid levels, and weight, raised concerns about health effects of HFCS itself.

Yikes... By now you have likely heard the concept that sugar is responsible for a rise in diabetes, a host of other chronic metabolic diseases, and inflammation in general. The best thing you can do is educate yourself so you do recognize when a hidden sugar is in your food.

Another sad fact is that many doctors and researchers consider sugar more addictive and more deadly than heroin and cocaine. This is based on statistics that there are more U.S. deaths from the known health issues caused from "sugar addition", than from these 2 famously illicit drugs.

The List.

Without further ado... Here is a list of 50 common names for sugar found on food labels:

  • Barley malt
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Date sugar
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextran
  • Dextrose
  • Diastatic malt
  • Diastase
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Panocha
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Sorbitol
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar

Eliminate Added Sugar with Whole Food

We believe that a Whole Food Eating style can combat a ton of the issues people encounter when they eat excessive sugar. That means, if possible, you should remove all processed and packaged foods from your diet. These foods have alarming amounts of added sugars with names you may not always recognize. Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the names on the list above. Feel free to check back here for reference if you ever need to.

Learn to Read Labels for Hidden Sugar

If you find yourself having to purchase a few packaged foods like soups and condiments, then you also need to learn how to read labels. Learn what to look for in the ingredients listed and avoid these added sugars, as well as other food additives and chemicals. In particular, avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) and its' derivatives.

You will probably find it's hard to avoid added sugar altogether. Just do the best you can by purchasing single ingredient whole foods and preparing meals at home. Avoid all fast food restaurant foods, convenience style food, and snack food items.

Do this, and over a short period of time and you might find that your health will be much improved, and you just might feel a lot better too. 😉