Short Answer– Honestly, spotting hidden sugar is not that easy… you need to learn to read labels and identify the different names for sugar (kind of like being a sugar detective). But don’t worry, we can help!

Did you know that there is added sugar hiding in 74% of all packaged foods? Crazy right!?!  And we’re not just talking about cookies, cakes, and donuts….oh no. You’ll also find added sugars in things like yogurt, bread, canned sauces, and more.  

Confusing Labels

The FDA requires manufacturers to list all ingredients in their food… but added sugar goes by at least 61 different names, which can make it hard to identify. Some of these names you might recognize, like high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose, but did you know that maltose, molasses, and barley malt are also added sugars? Tricky!

Couple this with the fact that product labels only have to list total sugar content (they aren’t required to say whether or not that total includes added sugars) and it gets even more confusing!

How can you tell if the manufacturer has added sugar to a product or not? You need to carefully read through the ingredients list and look out for sugar hiding under another name. Ingredients are listed from highest to lowest, so the higher up on the list an added sugar is, the more of it there will be in the product.  

Whatever you call it, sugar is still sugar, and most Americans eat far too much of the sweet stuff. Learn to be a sugar detective and watch out for any of these ingredients in your packaged food.

Hidden Sugar
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61 Different Names For Sugar:

  • Agave nectar
  • Barbados sugar
  • Barley malt
  • Barley malt syrup
  • Beet sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane juice
  • Cane juice crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Caramel
  • Carob syrup
  • Castor sugar
  • Coconut palm sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Date sugar
  • Dehydrated cane juice
  • Demerara sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Free-flowing brown sugars
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltol
  • Maltose
  • Mannose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado
  • Palm sugar
  • Panocha
  • Powdered sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Saccharose
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar (granulated)
  • Sweet Sorghum
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Yellow sugar

Now that you know how to spot hidden sugar, you can make better choices for your family. Be vigilant and keep reading those labels! Food manufacturer’s may try to hide the sweet stuff, but now you know better.