• There are many different names for sugar, which can make it difficult to cut added sugar from your diet.
  • Reducing your added-sugar intake can be beneficial for your health, and may even help with weight loss.
  • Here are 71 names for sugar that you should look for on nutrition labels.

We eat a lot of sugar — more than most of us realize. And while we know to limit sweet treats like candy and ice cream, sugar is also hidden in some surprising foods — like bread, almond milk, and even salad dressing.

That’s because there are so many names for sugar — some you might not even recognize as sugar.

“Yes, sugar hides in plain view,” says Dr. Whitney Bowe, in Sugar Free 3.

“And it may be called something other than ‘sugar,’” she says. “Cane sugar, sucrose, fructose, agave nectar, high fructose corn syrup — but sugar is sugar, no matter how you spell it. There are more than sixty different names for sugar!”

How can you cut back on sugar if you don’t even recognize it on a nutrition label? Here’s what you need to know about these other names for sugar so you can make more informed eating choices.

Think you already know your sugar handles? Before you read on, test your knowledge and see how many sneaky sugars you can identify!

What Is Added Sugar?

man adding sugar to coffee | other names for sugar

Before we get into the other names for sugar, we first have to differentiate between the two major ways we get it in our diet — a.k.a. natural sugar and added sugar.

“Fruits and grains have a naturally occurring sugar which comes with fiber, vitamins, and minerals,” says Emily Tills, MS, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist in Syracuse, New York. “Added sugar is sugar that is not naturally occurring in the food — it is usually added to increase the sweetness or taste of foods.”

Added sugars are empty calories, Till explains.

They don’t provide the fiber, vitamins, and minerals — from eating a piece of fresh fruit, for example — that help your body process sugar more healthily.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend we consume no more than 10 percent of our daily calories from added sugar.

And the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to less than 6 teaspoons (25 grams) per day for women, and less than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) per day for men.

71 Other Names for Sugar

By some accounts, there are more than 250 other names for sugar. “It can be hard to avoid sugar if you don’t make a conscious effort and know what to look for,” Dr. Bowe says.

These are some of the names of sugar you’re most likely to find on ingredient lists. When you’re trying to cut back on your sugar consumption, watch out for sugar hiding under these aliases.

  1. Agave juice
  2. Agave nectar
  3. Agave syrup, all varieties
  4. Beet sugar
  5. Blackstrap molasses
  6. Brown rice syrup
  7. Brown sugar
  8. Buttered syrup
  9. Cane juice
  10. Cane juice crystals
  11. Cane sugar
  12. Cane syrup
  13. Caramel
  14. Carob syrup
  15. Castor sugar
  16. Coconut sugar
  17. Confectioners’ sugar
  18. Corn glucose syrup
  19. Corn syrup
  20. Corn syrup solids
  21. Date sugar/syrup
  22. Demerara sugar
  23. Dextrose
  24. Drimol
  25. Ethyl maltol
  26. Evaporated cane juice
  27. Flo malt
  28. Florida crystals
  29. Fructose
  30. Fructose sweetener
  31. Fruit juice
  32. Fruit juice concentrate
  33. Glucose
  34. Glucose solids
  35. Golden sugar
  36. Golden syrup
  37. Granular sweetener
  38. Granulated sugar
  39. Grape sugar
  40. High fructose corn syrup (an added sugar derived from corn starch and commonly found in processed foods)
  41. Honey
  42. Honibake
  43. Icing sugar
  44. Inverted sugar (a.k.a. invert sugar)
  45. Isoglucose
  46. Isomaltulose
  47. Kona-ame
  48. Malt syrup
  49. Maltodextrin
  50. Maltose
  51. Maple
  52. Maple sugar
  53. Maple syrup
  54. Mizu-ame
  55. Molasses
  56. Muscovado sugar
  57. Nulomoline
  58. Panela sugar
  59. Powdered sugar
  60. Raw sugar
  61. Refiner’s syrup
  62. Rice syrup
  63. Sorghum syrup
  64. Starch sweetener
  65. Sucanat
  66. Sucrovert
  67. Sugar beet
  68. Treacle or treacle sugar
  69. Turbinado sugar
  70. Unrefined sugar
  71. Yellow sugar

Is There A Difference Between Glucose and Fructose?

forms of sugar | other names for sugar

Glucose and fructose are two different types of sugar. Both can be found naturally in food, and they contain the same amount of calories.

But glucose and fructose have different chemical structures, and they’re digested and metabolized differently once consumed.


Glucose is a monosaccharide, meaning it’s a simple unit of sugar that is one molecule.

“Glucose is what our bodies use for energy and is stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver,” says Tills.


Fructose, also a monosaccharide, is a naturally occurring sugar in fruit. When converted to glucose in the liver, our bodies use it for energy, Tills explains.

Fructose from fruit is allowed in moderation on certain sugar free plans, but added fructose — such as from high-fructose corn syrup or agave syrup — in excess has been linked to negative health effects.

Which Sweeteners are Allowed on a Sugar-Free Diet?

It depends on the diet, but generally speaking, naturally occurring sugars (like the sugar in fruit and milk) can be part of a healthy diet. Here are a few types of sweeteners you may be allowed to consume on a sugar free diet.

1. Foods with naturally occurring sugars

On some sugar-free plans, Tills says, “Naturally occurring sugar can still be included, so you can still have your fruits, vegetables, and grains.”

This includes the fructose in fresh fruits and the lactose in milk.

2. Sugar alcohols

Some sugar free diets also allow foods infused with sugar alcohols, while others don’t.

These compounds — which may be naturally occurring or chemically produced — taste sweet, but they aren’t absorbed like sugar and don’t have the same impact on blood sugar but still have calories.

Some sugar alcohols you might find on an ingredient label include:

  • Erythritol
  • Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates
  • Isomalt
  • Lactitol
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol

Pro tip: If you see an “itol” at the end of it, that means it’s a sugar alcohol, says Michele Promaulayko, author of Sugar Free 3.

“This isn’t a great name for them since they’re neither sugar nor alcohol,” she says. “They are, however, chemically processed artificial sweeteners, so they’re a no-go on our program.”

Because they’re absorbed through the digestive tract slowly and incompletely, sugar alcohols may cause stomach discomfort, bloating, and gas in people.

3. Monkfruit

Monk fruit sweetener — an extract that’s 25 to 100 times sweeter than sugar — is a non-nutritive sweetener that doesn’t add calories.

4. Stevia

This natural sweetener is 50 to 350 times sweeter than table sugar. Because stevia is a plant extract and doesn’t add calories, 100 percent stevia extract may be allowed on some sugar-free diets.

list of other names for sugar | other names for sugar