The Many Aliases of Sugar

Belly bulgeSugar is one sneaky sweetener. Recently I’ve found a few interesting facts on the little guy and I’m not too sure how much I like have him around much anymore. I used to think I had a pretty good handle on making sure I didn’t consume too much of it, but apparently I had no clue how much I was really ingesting. And the reason? Sugar has so many aliases! So many faces and personalities that it’s difficult to clearly define them all, especially on the back of a package in font sizes even too small for a mouse. Below is a list of some, and I stress some, of the many names sugar goes by. The reason this is important to know is because if you’re trying to lose weight, trying to maintain insulin levels from spiking, trying to be more health conscious, added sugars do nothing to help you. They only hinder your efforts and make you question why your ‘muffin top’ isn’t going anywhere but farther over your jeans.

Here is the list of different sugar names from the Dietary Guideline for Americans, created by the American Heart Association (AHA):

  • Agave nectar
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane crystals
  • Cane sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fructose
  • Fruit juice concentrates
  • Glucose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Maltose
  • Malt syrup
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Syrup

Quite a list and one that doesn’t even cover artificial sweeteners. (Artificial sweeteners is a whole other blog. I mean, think about it, man-made sweeteners. Man-made... in a laboratory. Not found in nature.) Ok, moving on.

So the AHA recommends that no more than 100 calories of added sugar per day, which is about 24 grams of sugar for women, and no more than 150 calories, or 36 grams for men, be consumed. Those numbers are hard to stick by when you’re not sure of all of sugar’s aliases. My suggestion here is to study this list, get to know it and remember those names when looking at the ingredients next time you’re at the store. If you get overwhelmed and frustrated, just put it back on the shelf and reach for a piece of fruit. The more you know, the smarter your food choices will be.

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About the Author: Anne Marie Constanzo