61 Disguises of Sugar: Decoding the Mystery in Your Grocery List

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Learn to understand food labels and unveil hidden sugars with our comprehensive guide. Knowledge is the first step to a healthier diet. It’s no secret that sugar finds its way into an array of products that we consume daily. Yet, how often do we pause to check the ingredients listed on our food labels to spot concealed sugar? In most cases, not nearly enough.

61 names for sugar low carb hidden sugar

The road to a healthy, low-carb diet is paved with meats, full-fat dairy, vegetables, nuts, and healthy oils. Here’s a comprehensive list to help you make informed choices. However, the labyrinth of food labels may be leading you to consume more sugar than you think. This might come as a surprise, but a staggering 74% of packaged foods that fill our shopping carts contain added sugars.

Despite eliminating desserts and grain products from your diet, you may still unknowingly surpass your daily sugar limit. The loophole lies within the regulatory policies set forth by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Though the FDA insists on full ingredient disclosure on packaging, manufacturers have discovered ingenious methods of incorporating sugar without openly mentioning it. The sugar often hides in plain sight, camouflaged under various aliases, fooling even the most health-conscious among us.

Before we dive further into this sweet deception, it’s essential to highlight that not all sugar is our enemy. Naturally occurring sugars, as found in fruits and vegetables, are a healthy part of our diet.

Why then do food manufacturers insist on adding sugar? The reasons range from enhancing taste and boosting flavor, to the more cunning motive of triggering sugar cravings.

As Christine Gerbstadt, a well-known dietitian and member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), affirms, sweetness is an innate preference in humans right from birth. Unsurprisingly, even foods claiming to be ‘low-carb’ can be sugar-loaded in disguise. Misleading health claims on front packaging can falsely convince consumers of the product’s health benefits.

Commonly overlooked sources of hidden sugar in a daily low-carb diet include:

  • Bacon
  • Premade Seasonings Packets
  • Salad Dressings and Marinades
  • Peanut Butter
  • Tomato Sauce and Ketchup
  • Pickles
  • Processed Cheese Slices
  • Protein Bars and Weight Loss Energy Bars
  • Canned Vegetables

It’s time to decode the 61 secret names of sugar. This list will help you unmask the hidden sugars in your food:

1. Agave nectar

2. Barbados sugar

3. Barley malt

4. Barley malt syrup

5. Beet sugar

6. Brown sugar

7. Buttered syrup

8. Cane juice

9. Cane juice crystals

10. Cane sugar

11. Caramel

12. Carob syrup

13. Castor sugar

14. Coconut palm sugar

15. Coconut sugar

16. Confectioner’s sugar

17. Corn sweetener

18. Corn syrup

19. Corn syrup solids

20. Date sugar

21. Dehydrated cane juice

22. Demerara sugar

23. Dextrin

24. Dextrose

25. Evaporated cane juice

26. Free-flowing brown sugars

27. Fructose

28. Fruit juice

29. Fruit juice concentrate

30. Glucose

31. Glucose solids

32. Golden sugar

33. Golden syrup

34. Grape sugar

35. HFCS (High-Fructose Corn Syrup)

36. Honey

37. Icing sugar

38. Invert sugar

39. Malt syrup

40. Maltodextrin

41. Maltol

42. Maltose

43. Mannose

44. Maple syrup

45. Molasses

46. Muscovado

47. Palm sugar

48. Panocha

49. Powdered sugar

50. Raw sugar

51. Refiner’s syrup

52. Rice syrup

53. Saccharose

54. Sorghum Syrup

55. Sucrose

56. Sugar (granulated)

57. Sweet Sorghum

58. Syrup

59. Treacle

60. Turbinado sugar

61. Yellow sugar

In today’s health-conscious world, added sugar has rightfully earned its reputation as a primary health adversary. Overconsumption of sugar has been linked to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

To keep your family and yourself healthy, remain aware and cautious of hidden sugars. Some foods marketed as healthy, like yogurt or whole grain products, may hold more sugar than a glass of soda.

Beware, hidden sugar can sabotage your journey towards achieving ketosis and reaping the associated benefits.

For future reference, pin this list or save it to your computer. This list is your secret weapon in the battle against harmful added sugar!

61 names for sugar low carb hidden sugar

How To Avoid Sugar?

So, how can you navigate this sweet labyrinth?

1. Always check the ingredient list: Manufacturers often use different names for sugar. If the ingredient list contains words ending in ‘ose,’ such as dextrose, fructose, glucose, lactose, maltose, or sucrose, it’s likely a type of sugar.

2. Understand portion sizes: A food label may list a relatively small amount of sugar, but this could be per serving. If the packet contains several servings, eating the entire package may mean you’re consuming far more sugar than you realize.

3. Beware of ‘health foods’: Foods like granola, protein bars, yogurt, and smoothies are often marketed as healthy but can contain high amounts of sugar. Always check the labels.

4. Go for whole foods: Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains are the best choice, as they’re naturally low in sugar and high in fiber.

5. Practice moderation: It’s okay to have a sweet treat occasionally. The key is to control portion sizes and not let it become a regular part of your diet.

6. Substitute with healthier options: Use natural sweeteners like honey, agave, or stevia. While they still contain sugars, they’re far less processed and contain other beneficial nutrients.

Did you know that sugar comes in so many forms? Let a comment below!


Ioana is a food and travel lover. Her greatest passion is developing mouthwatering recipes that are comforting, easy to make, and budget friendly! She firmly believes that cooking should be fun! About me...

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Hello! My name is Ioana Borcea, and I'm here to provide you with mouthwatering recipes. This blog is all about sharing my favorite tested easy to make, delicious low-carb & keto, nutrient-dense recipes.

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