Below are the multiple names of Sugar.
Under each name, you will find a description, its effects on our health, and where it is used in the foods we buy.
This list includes: Sugars, Natural sugars, Natural sweeteners, Modified sugars, Artificial sweeteners, Sugar extract, Sugar Alcohol & Sugar fiber.
Just a piece of fruit will do, thanks!
Quicklist in alphabetical order:
Sorghum molasses, syrup and sweet
E637 (Ethyl maltol)
E960 (Stevia, Stevioside)
Acesulfame K, Ace K (TwinSweet, SweetOne, Sunett, SweetandSafe, E950)
Acesulfame-K is a potassium salt containing methylene chloride, a known carcinogen. Long term exposure to methylene chloride can cause nausea, headaches, mood problems, impairment of the liver and kidneys, problems with eyesight and possibly cancer. Acesulfame-K may contribute to hypoglemia. Of all artificial sweeteners, acesulfame-K has undergone the least scientific scrutiny. Early studies showed a potential link between the sweetener and development of multiple cancers in laboratory animals.
Aspartame (AminoSweet, Candarel, Equal, NatraTaste, NutraSweet, TwinSweet, E951),
Acesulfame K (DiabetiSweet), Ace K
Phenylalanine, aspartic acid and methanol. Methanol is converted into formaldehyde when metabolized. Makers of aspartame say methanol and its byproducts are quickly excreted. But research has found measurable amounts of formaldehyde in the livers, kidneys and brains of test subjects after ingestion of aspartame. At high temperatures, phenylalnine breaks down into diketopiperazine (DPK), a known carcinogen.
Phenylalnine is especially dangerous for people with the hereditary disease, phenylketonuria. It has provoked considerable controversy, with many people complaining about side effects, including dizziness, blurred vision and headaches. Like ace K, aspartame is approved as a general-purpose sweetener in the U.S., and is used in the same type of foods and beverages. However, since aspartame is not stable at cooking and baking temperatures, its use is limited in baked goods and some dry dessert mixes.
Also found in Drinks, Gum, Yogurt, Cough drops and more.
AminoSweet: Soft drinks, Low alcohol beers, hot and cold Beverages, Table-top sweeteners, Confectionery, Desserts, Dairy products, Medicines.
The newest on the market, this artificial sweetener was approved by the FDA in 2002. It is between 7,000 and 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar depending on what it is added to, and is produced by the same company that makes aspartame. Neotame is based on Aspartame.
Saccharin (Cologran, Hermesetas, NectaSweet, Sucaryl, Sweet’N Low)
Saccharin is a synthetic sweetener and is among the most commonly used substances in the group of high-intensity sweeteners. Saccharin is normally used as the sodium or potassium salt. It has a slight bitter aftertaste, which can be masked by combination with other sweeteners. In some countries, there are at present some restrictions on the use of saccharin, due to a suspicion of toxic effects. Taken in moderation it is probably totally safe.
Sucralose (EZ-Sweetz, Ideal no calorie sweetener, Nevalla, Splenda, Sweetzfree)
In 1999, sucralose was approved as a general-purpose sweetener in the U.S. Sucralose is sold under the brand name Splenda. The ingredients of the tabletop product are listed as “dextrose, maltodextrin and sucralose” on the packet.
Food manufacturers value sucralose because it is the most heat stable of the artificial sweeteners. This property has increased the introduction of sucralose into a broad range of foods and beverages previously sweetened with the other approved general-purpose artificial sweeteners.
Agave nectar, Agave syrup, Organic agave syrup
90% Fructose. Agave has a higher fructose content than any other common sweetener, more even than High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Agave nectar is a highly processed type of sugar from the Agave tequiliana (tequila) plant. Agave nectar is about 1 1/2 times sweeter than regular sugar. It has about 60 calories per tablespoon, compared to 40 calories for the same amount of table sugar. Agave nectar is not healthier than honey, sugar, HFCS, or any other type of sweetener.
Barley malt, Barley malt syrup
Barley Malt Syrup is a natural sweetener produced by cooking sprouted barley malt. It contains some minerals and vitamins. It is a natural product and does not contain any chemicals. High in maltose so should be taken in moderation. Although it has a lower glycemic index than sugar it is far less sweet. Care needs to be taken to ensure a genuine article. Some products have been fraudulently labeled as barley malt syrup when in fact they were mostly High Fructose Corn Syrup with flavoring added.
Brown rice syrup, Rice syrup, Rice malt
Made from brown rice. Contains no fructose or sucrose. It contains minerals such as magnesium and potassium and some B vitamins. It is a natural product and does not contain any chemicals. Fermentation is traditionally done with natural enzymes derived from sprouted barley. It is reputed to have a lower glycemic index than table sugar. However it contains about 40% maltose (by dry weight) which has a glycemic index of 105. This may call into question it’s reported glycemic index of 25. Rice is a major reason why inorganic arsenic is likely being introduced into your diet, and brown rice syrup is no better. According to the Food and Drug Administration, long-term exposure to arsenic is associated with higher rates of certain types of cancer.
Caramel is a dark brown food colouring agent which is used in baking and cooking and in the manufacture of some soft drinks. Caramel is normally made industrially by heating a sugar solution, inducing caramelization. High in both carbohydrates and calories. It’s common candy form has eight grams of carbs for every 10 grams of candy.
Golden syrup, Refiners syrup
Made up of approximately 56% invert syrup, and 44% sucrose. Golden Syrup is is a very pleasant tasting thick syrup with a rich unique flavor. It is a byproduct of the refining of cane sugar. It’s composed almost entirely of sucrose, fructose, and glucose—three types of sugar.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS),
Corn syrup, Corn syrup solids,
Corn sugar, Corn sweetener,
HFCS is made from genetically modified corn. It is a syrup made up of varying proportions of glucose and fructose. Recent studies have shown it to be far more detrimental to health than ordinary sugar. The rates of obesity and metabolic syndrome in the USA have soared in the last 30 years since the introduction of HFCS. The super size portions now popular at the fast food chains may be a direct result of increased appetite caused by the consumption of HFCS. Most high fructose corn syrup added to drinks and foods in the US is HFCS 55. It contains 55% fructose, 42% glucose and 3% other sugars.
This means the two sugars are out of balance and leaves 13% fructose unpaired with glucose. This is significant, any amount of fructose in this form is too much. Because they’re composed mostly of a type of sugar called dextrose, you might think corn syrup solids are healthier than high-fructose corn syrup. Not so. Both are derived from the same product, are metabolized similarly by our bodies, and both share similar detrimental health effects.
Invert sugar is used in a liquid form to help keep candies and baked items sweet. A syrup that is made that up of glucose and fructose. It can be produced at home by simply boiling a mixture of sugar and water in a saucepan.
Buttered sugar, Buttercream
Buttercream is made by mixing butter with powdered sugar, combining the fat, calorie, and cholesterol content of butter with all the perils of sugar.
Oat syrup, Avena sativa
Often mislabeled as “organic oat syrup,” this product has several good qualities: It’s a rich source of antioxidants and has the ability to help lower cholesterol when consumed in moderation. Even so, it remains high in both caloric value and sugar content.
Made from milk, it has less than half the calories of sugar and zero glycemic index. Unlike most sugars it is not harmful to teeth, in fact it has been shown to help prevent damage to teeth. It is also a prebiotic. This means that it assists in the development of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
It is an natural product manufactured using an enzymatic process. Lactose is concentrated from whey, separated into Glucose and Galactose, and the Galactose is converted into Tagatose. Whey is a by-product of cheese manufacturing.
It is unusual in that while it is a sugar, the body seems to treat it as a sugar alcohol. It is only partly digested and the remainder is treated as a fibre by the body. Like polyols it may cause cramps etc of consumed to excess. Note: Although it is made from Lactose, Tagatose is Lactose free.
Natural sugar, natural sweetener
A combination of fructose, glucose, and water, it is produced by bees. Honey contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals, and studies suggest it may not raise blood sugar as fast as other sweet products. The pasteurization process strips away some of its health benefits. Prefer organic honey (processed whithout heating) for nutrition benefits.
No concerns known. Has been consumed for centuries by natives in West Africa. Only tiny amounts are needed to sweeten food and the body is able to metabolize it like any other protein. Increasing interest of brazzein makes it difficult to source naturally from Gabon, but it can also be synthesised by a solid-phase method. Recombinant proteins were successfully produced via E. coli.
The Texas companies Prodigene and Nectar Worldwide were among the licensees to use Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation patents on Brazzein, and genetically engineer the enzyme into maize. Brazzein then can be commercially extracted from maize through ordinary milling. Approximately one ton of maize yields 1-2 kilograms of Brazzein. It can also be engineered into plants like wheat to make pre-sweetened grains, e.g. for cereals.
Luo Han Guo (Lakanto, Monk Fruit, PureFruit, Sweet Fiber, Sweet Sensation)
Luo Han Guo is an excellent and exciting new zero calorie sweetener. The plant is native to the Guangxi province in southwestern China. It is a natural product and appears to be totally safe. Is useful for diabetics and it is harmless to teeth. Not yet widely available, but this should improve. Can be used in cooking.
Rebiana (Truvia, PureVia)
Derived from the stevia plant, rebiana is deemed the natural alternative to artificial sweeteners. Although crude stevia extracts are not approved by the FDA, refined stevia products such as Truvia gained a Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) approval from the FDA in 2008.
Until further testing, be mindful of the amount you’re consuming.
Stevia, Stevioside (NuStevia, PureVia, Truvia, E960)
Stevia is a plant native to South America, and particularly Paraguay. However it can be grown in any sub tropical or tropical climate. It is now grown in China and Japan. Some of the products can have a bitter or licorice flavour. The more concentrated forms are superior.
Taumatin (Talin, E957)
Excellent natural zero calorie sweetener and flavor enhancer. No side effects. Not well known as it is used more as a flavor enhancer than a sweetener.
Yacon syrup, Yacon nectar
Amazing natural sweetener with unique properties. It is a prebiotic and contains useful soluble fiber. It comes from the Yacon tuber (Andes, Peru). This is ground down to extract the juice. The moisture is evaporated to produce the syrup. In order to qualify as a raw sweetener the temperature during production must not exceed approx 40 degrees centigrade. It is probably the only truly raw, organic, natural, low calorie, and low glycemic sweetener available.
Sugar, Sucrose, Saccharose,
Table sugar, Caster sugar, Granulated sugar, Confectioner’s sugar,
Raw sugar, Brown sugar, Turbinado sugar
Sucrose is made from a low-sugar beet juice or sugar cane. It is made up of about half glucose and half fructose.
Raw sugar is granulated, solid, or coarse. It is brown in color. Raw sugar is the solid part left when the liquid from the juice of the sugar cane evaporates. Brown sugar is made from sugar crystals that come from molasses syrup. Confectioner’s sugar (also known as powdered sugar) is finely ground sucrose.
Fruits and vegetables also naturally contain sucrose. When consumed, the enzyme beta-fructosidase separates sucrose into its individual sugar units of glucose and fructose. Both sugars are then taken up by their specific transport mechanisms.
The body responds to the glucose content of the meal in its usual manner; however, fructose uptake occurs at the same time. Although it is 50% fructose, because the body must first break it down into its component parts, it does not seem to present the same problems as pure fructose, or high fructose corn syrup
Fructose, Levulose, Crystalline fructose
Doesn’t suppress the hunger hormone Ghreling (satiety) and does not stimulate Insulin or Leptin = eat more. Chronic exposure to fructose promotes Metabolic syndrome. Consumption of fructose in fruit and vegetables does not appear to be a problem, and this is no surprise as it has been always been part of the human diet.
Fructose is only metabolized in the liver and relies on fructokinase to initiate metabolism. It is also more fat-producing than glucose.
Avoid all crystalline forms. Try to avoid consumption of HFCS. Reduce sugar and honey to moderate levels. (Honey is beneficial at moderate levels, a spoon or two per day) Avoid apple and pear juice, they are very high in fructose. Pure orange juice is better but not in large quantities. No need to avoid it in fruit or vegetables, the fiber, antioxidants and other solids regulate the metabolism and prevent the harmful effects.
Crystalline fructose is essentially pure fructose.
Trimoline, invert syrup
A mixture of glucose and fructose. Tends to retain moisture and is less prone to crystallization.
Juice concentrates may be used to directly replace sugar. These syrups are made by first heating fruit juices to remove water, and then treating with enzymes and filtering to strip all characteristic color and natural flavor from the original juice. Because of their bland initial color and flavor, grapes and pears are the primary sources of the juice concentrates used as sugar substitutes. Juice concentrates that replace sugar contain traces of sucrose, and variable amounts of fructose and glucose.
All syrup products share common traits: high sugar content, loads of calories, and minimal nutritional value. Some may be better when compared to others, but none are truly healthy.
Amber liquid sugar
Amber liquid sugar is darker in color and can be used in foods where brown color is desired. Agave nectar (more accurately called agave syrup, as “nectar” is a marketing term) is a sweetener commercially produced from several species of agave, including Agave tequilana (blue agave) and Agave salmiana. Agave syrup is sweeter than honey and tends to be less viscous. Most agave syrup comes from Mexico and South Africa.
Barbados sugar, Muscovado sugar
A British specialty brown sugar, is very dark brown and has a particularly strong molasses flavor. The crystals are slightly coarser and stickier in texture than “regular” brown sugar. A sibling to other brown sugars such as Demerara and Turbinado, Muscovado sugar is less processed, yet still contains five grams of carbs per teaspoon without any significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, or proteins. Claims of this being a “natural” brown sugar are misleading.
Confectioners’ sugar, Powdered sugar, Icing sugar
Notorious for elevating blood sugar levels, powdered sugar contains 10% of your daily carbohydrate intake per ounce to go along with it’s 27 grams of sugar.
Made from chopped-up dates, this sugar is less processed than other types but remains extremely high in sugar content. Every 7-gram date has nearly five grams of the sweet stuff. found most commonly in natural food stores since it is less processed than more conventional sugars. It is made from dried dates and adds a rich sweetness to recipes, although it will not dissolve when added to drinks. It also does not melt like granulated sugar which can limit its use.
This large-grained, textured sugar with caramel overtones has more nutrients than table sugar—but that’s not saying much. Its trace amounts of proteins and vitamins are so insignificant they don’t even appear on USDA food labels.
This complex sugar is produced in our body when we break down starch. As a food additive, however, it often contains trace amounts of allergens such as wheat and corn.
Dextrose is the commercial name used for the crystalline glucose produced from starch. If the crystallized dextrose (glucose) contains no water.
Diastatic malt, Diastatic powder
Diastatic malt powder is produced from barley and contains about two-thirds as many calories as table sugar.
Galactose is a naturally occurring sugar that can drive up your blood pressure and contribute to diabetes.
Glucose, Glucose solids,
Dextrose, Grape sugar
Glucose (also called Dextrose) is a simple sugar that is found in fruit and vegetables. It is about 75% as sweet as ordinary sugar. It is important in human biology as it is the main fuel used by the body. Unless exercising or engaged in sport activity, glucose drinks and dextrose tablets are best avoided.
Dextrose is glucose combined with water.
Golden sugar, Golden caster sugar, Unrefined cane sugar
Unrefined sugars retain some of the nutrients usually processed out, making them appear to be healthier. But remember: Just because it’s incrementally better than refined sugar doesn’t mean it’s good for you.
Indian Jaggery (Gur)
35% sucrose, 15% reducing sugar (50% fructose). Made from palm dates or sugar cane juice. Contains molasses.
Maltodextrin (Nevalla, Splenda, PureVia)
Not to be confused with Dextrose, which is actually Glucose and a natural product. Maltodextrin is a group of complex sugars, rather than one carbohydrate. It ranges from more complex to less so and this depends on the method of production. It is enzymatically produced from starch. It’s not used as a sweetener on it’s own – it’s not sweet enough. High glycemic index. Made from any type of starch, corn, wheat, potato rice etc. Enzymes and acid are used to break down the starch molecules into shorter glucose chains. Nutrients like protein have been processed out of this common food additive.
It is only about 30% as sweet as ordinary sugar, but it has a very high glycemic index of 105. It is not an important sugar and since it’s not sweet enough is not used on its own. It is the main carbohydrate found in beer. Like any sugar it feeds the yeast which produces gas and helps the bread to rise.
Organic raw sugar
Because the FDA doesn’t define and regulate the definition of “natural” products, things like “organic raw” sugar are often misrepresented. It’s processed and refined, and chemicals are usually added, making its title a misnomer.
No great benefit as a sweetener, it is less than half as sweet as sugar and has a similar glycemic index. However it has a multitude of other uses and applications. It is an antioxidant, it acts as a natural preservative, it keeps food moist and helps preserve texture and flavour. In nature it has amazing qualities which seem to prevent damage to cells from drying out or freezing. It is totally safe for consumption.
The only difference between this, white sugar and brown sugar is the varying levels of molasses added in. It has the same carbohydrate and sugar content as white sugar.
Erythritol (C*Eridex, Lakanto, Zerose, ZSweet, Swerve, SweetPerfection, SomerSweet, E968),
Glucitol (Sorbitol – E420),
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate (HSH),
Isomalt (ClearCut, DiabetiSweet, E953),
Ethyl maltol (E637),
Lactitol (Lacty, E966),
Maltitol, (Maltisweet, SweetPearl, E965),
Xylitol (Ideal no calorie sweetener, Polysweet, Xylosweet, Xylose, E967)
The ADA recommends consuming sugar alcohols in moderation, and counting half of the grams of sugar alcohols as carbohydrates because only about half get digested. They are absorbed by the body at a much slower rate than sugar. They also have about half the calories of sugar. They should not be confused with sugar substitutes that are calorie free. Sugar alcohol cause stomach cramps and diarrhea in some people.
Erythritol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in fruit and fermented foods. It is 60 to 70% as sweet as table sugar, but has fewer calories. Also, it does not result in as much of a rise in blood sugar after meals or cause tooth decay. Unlike other sugar alcohols, it does not cause stomach upset.
Cane sugar (Florida Crystals, Sucanat), Cane crystals, Cane juice (Cachaça)
Made from crushed sugarcane. Cane juice mainly contains sucrose and water. Evaporated cane juice is simply a concentrated version, water having been removed. Studies have repeatedly shown cane sugar’s ability to drastically raise blood pressure and cholesterol, and to contribute to insulin resistance.
Coconut sugar, Coconut plan sugar, Coconut palm sugar
It is truly a natural product, and is not refined in any way. It is also a reputed to be a very sustainable form of agriculture. Coconut palm sugar is essentially a fairly pure form of sugar. It is mainly composed of sucrose with smaller quantities of glucose and fructose. Therefore, there is really no reason why it should have a lower glycemic index than sugar. All articles that refer to the amazingly low glycemic index are based upon the same test. Without other independent tests it cannot be confidently assumed to have such a low index.
Maple syrup, Maple sugar
Maple Syrup is an natural sweetener obtained from the sap of maple trees. It comes in different varieties and grades, from light golden color to a darker amber. It is a syrup made that up mainly of sucrose and water, with some minerals and vitamins. It is a natural unprocessed product. Unlike refined sugar no chemicals are used in its manufacturing. There are many imitation products on the market that taste like it but are usually made out of high fructose corn syrup. They should be avoided.
Palm sugar, Palm syrup
It contains more minerals and vitamins than ordinary sugar and has a pleasant taste. It is a natural product and does not contain any chemicals. No enzymes are used in its manufacture. It is mainly sucrose and is low in fructose. It is reputed to have a lower glycemic than sugar. It has a taste that goes very well in coffee.
It is made from crushed sugarcane and then dried. This sugar variation from Latin America is made from evaporated sugar cane juice and is basically pure sugar. It is probably the best type of cane sugar as it is the least processed. It contains the goodness of the molasses naturally found in the cane. The amount of nutrient is small and in this respect it is of little advantage over sugar.
Sorghum molasses, Sorghum syrup, Sweet Sorghum
The good news is that sorghum often contains high levels of dietary fiber. The bad news is that each serving contains 163 calories and 36 grams of carbohydrates. Unlike Honey or Agave Syrup most of the sugar is sucrose. ‘Sweet sorghum,’ as many call it, is completely deficient of nutrients in any meaningful amount.
Inulin (JustLikeSugar, Swerve, SweetPerfection, Sweet Fiber, SomerSweet)
Is found in many root vegetables particularly chicory. Not much use as a sweetener on it’s own, but it is sometimes mixed with other high intensity sweeteners, and marketed as a low calorie sugar substitute. It is prebiotic and has been shown to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon. It has also been show to assist the body’s ability to absorb minerals from food. It adds bulk and texture to processed foods.
It is a fiber and this can have beneficial effects but can cause cramps etc if consumed to excess. Probably best not to consume more than 30 gm per day. For this reason it is a good idea to be aware of its presence in processed foods and ‘health foods’.