FAQ: Added Sugars and What to Look For

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Authority Nutrition (which recently merged with HealthLine) is one of my go-to websites! They provide evidenced-based articles on a lot of the hot topics in the nutrition realm like different fad diets, ingredients, health concerns, etc. I wanted to read up on the different sugars found in foods and just had to share some of the gems. Added sugar goes by many names in the ingredients.

Before continuing, what is added sugar?

Added sugar is literally any sugar that is added to any processed food. Think of it as opposed to naturally occurring sugars. For example, fruits and vegetables have lots of naturally occurring sugars but they’re not a concern for the average healthy individual. “There’s no reason to avoid the sugar that is naturally present in whole foods. Fruit, vegetables and dairy products naturally contain small amounts of sugar, but they also contain fiber, nutrients and various beneficial compounds.The negative health effects of high sugar consumption are due to the massive amount of added sugar that is present in the Western diet.” (Authority Nutrition: The 56 Most Common Names for Sugar)

So what are some of its names?

Well, there are many so brace yourself! But according to the article linked above, here are some of the most common ones:

  • Sugar/Sucrose (commonly known as table sugar)
  • High fructose corn syrup (can be HFCS 55 or HFCS 90)
  • Agave nectar
  • Beet sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Honey
  • Fruit juice
  • Raw sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Fructose
  • Corn syrup

Check out the above article for the complete list!

How to identify Added Sugars?

To identify added sugars, look at the ingredients list and see if any of the above items are listed. The current good label identifies sugars but does not differentiate between naturally occurring and added sugars which is why it’s important to look at the ingredients. For example, milk will have sugar in it and unless it’s flavored it’s naturally occurring rather than added and therefore you don’t really need to avoid it (unless you have certain diseases).

For more information check out this article as well: Authority Nutrition: Added Sugar is the Single Worst Ingredient in the Diet.Period)

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Dua genuinely believes that our relationship with food should not be complicated. She likes to focus on eating in moderation and listening to your body but this, of course, will be different from person to person and body to body.

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