The Many Different Names for Sugar
Sugar is in the news again.
Not long ago, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) inundated the manufactured food supply. It has been, and continues to be, a big factor in many modern-day health issues: obesity, type 2 diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and myriad autoimmune diseases to name a few.
The name, HFCS, started to get such a bad rap so, being oh so clever and having massive legal and advertising teams to support them, it has been replaced. We really don’t hear much about it anymore, do we? Now processed foods can legally claim, “No High Fructose Corn Syrup!” Instead you will see the simple ingredient “fructose.” Fructose is a simple sugar found in fruit – naturally. So it sounds like a great thing to just seem fructose as an ingredient. If it’s naturally in fruit, it must be good for us! Let’s be clear. If it is found naturally in fruit, it is OK. When it is an added ingredient in any food, it’s a whole different ballgame.
Did you know that there is no requirement for food manufacturers to notify us their packaging when a product contains an artificial sweetener? They are also not required to note that “SUGAR” is an ingredient if it is listed as a specific kind of sugar (like sucrose or dextrose instead of just “sugar”) This is why there are SO MANY different names for it! Be sure to check the ingredient list carefully.
Many of the sweeteners used today are so much sweeter than real sugar that consumer palates may become accustomed to exaggerated sweet tastes. Sugar substitutes can be up to 1200 times sweeter than real sugar!
Use your best judgment and note the grams of sugar in the Nutritional Information box. Strive for 5 grams of sugar or less per serving when choosing a food with a label and read the ingredient list carefully for those “hidden sugars”.
This is just another reason why it is always best to EAT REAL FOOD and to cook it yourself. It puts YOU in control of the food that goes into your body and into the ones you care about.
Here is a partial list of sugar’s many names and identities. Please note that it is impossible to list all the myriad names for sugar in its various forms. New sugars (real and artificial) are being “discovered” and “invented” all the time.
When in doubt, do your research!