What’s in a Name?  

We all like to indulge our sweet tooth once in a while, and there are certainly times when digging into some ice cream or a brownie is quite satisfying. But the average American consumes about 17 teaspoons of added sugar each day, far more than what’s contained in an occasional treat. For those who try to be more conscious of their intake, nutrition labels can be helpful in understanding how much sugar a food contains. But did you know there are over 50 different ingredients that are all variations of sugar?

Without proper moderation, sugar can cause a huge range of health problems, so it is important to know these terms.

Most Common Sugar Synonyms

Without including artificial sweeteners and sugar substitutes, you may find a host of different forms of sugar in your food.

Basic simple sugars, like monosaccharides and disaccharides, are often called one or more of the following:

  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose

When a food contains solid or granulated sugars, you may see the following terms:

  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Castor sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar (or powdered sugar)
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Date sugar
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Diastatic malt
  • Ethyl maltol
  • Florida crystals
  • Golden sugar
  • Glucose syrup solids
  • Grape sugar
  • Icing sugar
  • Maltodextrin
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Panela sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Sugar (granulated or table)
  • Sucanut
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar

The last form of sugar you may see is liquid or syrup sugars, which can be listed as the following:

  • Agave nectar or syrup
  • Barley malt
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Butter sugar or buttercream
  • Caramel
  • Carob syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Golden syrup
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Rice syrup
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Treacle

Not all of these forms of sugar are created equal, and not all are automatically bad for you. It can be helpful to look at the nutrition breakdown and see how much sugar a food contains, compared to how much of that sugar was added. The latter tends to be less healthy, whereas something like fruit could have a high sugar content and still be good for you in moderation. While manufacturers aren’t always required to separate natural and added sugars, most do, which can be helpful.

With no other health conditions present, a common daily limit should be about 6 teaspoons of added sugar for women and 9 teaspoons for men. Knowing these many names of sugar can help you keep an eye out for this sneaky ingredient to ensure you’re keeping your sugar consumption to a minimum.

Sugar’s Health Impact

Sugar can affect all aspects of your health, from causing Type 2 diabetes to raising cholesterol to contributing to Alzheimer’s. Not only can a Charlotte chiropractor like Dr. Grant Lisetor help you to manage these conditions, but he can also help prevent them in the first place. Chiropractors can work with you to develop a plan for healthy, holistic living, including utilizing dietary plans that curb sugar cravings and contribute to your optimal health. If you’d like to learn more about Greater Life Chiropractic and how chiropractic can help you achieve your health goals, contact us today to schedule a consultation.


“Added Sugar.” Harvard School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/added-sugar-in-the-diet/.

“Hidden in Plain Sight.” University of California San Francisco, Sugar Science. https://sugarscience.ucsf.edu/hidden-in-plain-sight/