68 Sugar pseudonyms, 16 Sweeteners and Marketing lesson4 min estimated reading time

hidden names sugar

68 Sugar pseudonyms, 16 Sweeteners and Marketing lesson

The evasion of sugar has become an art nowadays. There are huge (read: ridiculous) many names to indicate sugar.

What you will learn in this article:

  • The 68 hidden names of sugar (also called hidden sugars)
  • How you can recognize the hidden names without remembering them
  • The 16 names of sweeteners

But first I give a marketing lesson.

Why so many hiding names? (marketing lessons)

If you ask me, there are 2 explanations of why there are so many hidden names for sugar.

Reason # 1: ignorance

A large proportion of consumers do not recognize the hiding names on the packaging. For example, a name like agave nectar sounds pretty innocent. Now the consumer does not know that he or she actually buys a product with sugar.

To recognize all the hidden names, you can follow these 4 rules:

  • Contains the term sugar, such as ‘invert sugar’
  • OR contains the term ‘stoop’ or ‘syrup’, such as ‘beet syrup’
  • OR ends with ‘ose’, like ‘galactose’
  • You still have a number that you have to know by heart (we can not learn that at school …: P)

Reason # 2: making labels more beautiful (clean-labeling)

Suppose we have a product with the following ingredients: sugar, wheat flour, raisins, concentrated forest fruit puree, cinnamon.

Since you have to put the most used ingredient in the front, you immediately know as a consumer that a lot of sugar is present. In this case, let’s assume that 30% of the product consists of sugar by the added sugar.

The mention of the following is much smarter: wheat flour, raisins, sugar, glucose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, concentrated forest fruit puree, cinnamon.

Now wheat flour and raisins are suddenly in front. Then 3 names were used for sugar, namely sugar, glucose syrup and glucose-fructose syrup. If you use 10% of the total product, you also get 30% sugar.

In short, the latter does ‘healthier’, but actually comes down exactly the same as the first example.

These techniques fall under the heading of clean-labeling. The meaning is, if you ask me, the following: do not improve your product, but better present it than it is.

In the video below it explain to you how dangerous added sugars are:

Below you will find the hidden names of sugar:


68 hidden names of sugar

68 hidden names of sugar

And now the sweeteners …

The effects of sweeteners on your weight and your health care are, if you ask me, about the same as sugar.

Here are, for example, some facts about light soft drinks:

  • When you taste something sweet, your body expects sugar and starts to make insulin (source). Insulin is the (abdominal) fat storage hormone.
  • A 14-year study showed that the risk of diabetes increases more with light soft drinks than the normal sugar variant (source).
  • In the same study, the risk of diabetes increased by 33% if you consume one glass of light soft drink every day (source).
  • In another study, the daily drinking of light soda was associated with a 67% higher risk of type 2 diabetes (source).
  • A study showed that women who drink soft drinks drink as much as twice as much soda than women who drink regular sugar-rich soft drinks (source). This is because artificial sweeteners are more addictive.

Below are 16 names of sweeteners:

16 sweeteners

  1. Acesulfame-K (E950)
  2. Aspartame (E951)
  3. Cyclamate / sodium cyclamate (E952)
  4. Glycerol (E422)
  5. Erythritol (E968)
  6. Lactitol (E966)
  7. Maltitol (E965)
  8. Mannitol (E421)
  9. Neohesperidin dihydrochalcone (E959)
  10. Saccharin (E954)
  11. Sorbitol (E420)
  12. Splenda (E955)
  13. Steviol glycoside (E960)
  14. Sucralose (E955)
  15. Thaumatin (E957)
  16. Xylitol (E967)

*Note: If you spot any of these names listed on a label, keep in mind it’s not automatically a no-go. It’s the amount of sugar that counts!  If the total Carbohydrate count is 1-2 grams, it’s still fine to have if you’re following a low carb lifestyle. For example, many keto-friendly salad dressings include a pinch of sugar with 1-2 grams total carbs — these are still suitable to consume.

I challenge you to become more aware of the added sugars you are consuming. Don’t let this list overwhelm you. Start familiarizing yourself with some of these names and a good rule is to look for words that end in “ose” or the words “syrup”. Start questioning the ingredients on the label that you don’t know. The more aware you are the easier it will be to cut down on how much sugar you eat.

Did you know that research shows that 1 in 3 just gains from a diet instead of losing weight? (source)

Metabolic cooking

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