The 56 Most Common Names for Sugar

What Is Added Sugar?

During processing, sugar is added to food to enhance flavor, texture, shelf life or other properties.

Added sugar is usually a mixture of simple sugars such as glucose, fructose or sucrose. Other types, such as galactose, lactose and maltose, are less common.

Unfortunately, food manufacturers often hide the total amount of sugar by listing it under several different names on ingredients lists.

Glucose or Fructose — Does It Matter?

In short, yes. Glucose and fructose — even though they’re very common and often found together — have very different effects on the body.

Glucose can be metabolized by nearly every cell in the body, while fructose is metabolized almost entirely in the liver.

Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the harmful effects of high fructose consumption.

These include insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver, and type 2 diabetes.

Although eating any extra sugar should be avoided, it is especially important to minimize your intake of added sugars that are high in fructose.

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How Much Sugar is in This…. Really?

The nutrition facts label on food or beverage products lists key nutrients, serving size and calorie information based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Consumers can use the nutrition information to compare foods, select foods that align with their healthy eating pattern, while also staying within their individual daily calorie allowance. Conveniently, many food manufacturers list the nutrition facts for a single serving and the entire container, such as for beverages. This product information can be used to guide food decisions.

Carbohydrates, a key nutrient, are listed on the nutrition facts label. Sugars, both naturally occurring and added sugar, are listed under total carbohydrates, along with dietary fiber. Naturally occurring sugars include fructose found in fruits as well as lactose found in milk and milk products. Added sugars and syrups are added to a food or beverage during their preparation and processing. Examples include white sugar, brown sugar, honey, corn syrup, fruit nectars, malt syrup, fructose and dextrose.

When you look at the nutrition facts label, you will notice the amount of natural and added sugars are listed as grams and this measurement may not be familiar, or easy to interpret. Grams are a metric measurement of weight whereas a teaspoon, a more common measurement in America, is a measurement of volume. Learning how to convert grams into teaspoons can be a helpful way to determine how much sugar you are consuming throughout the day.

Look at the nutrition facts label on a package of white or brown sugar, the serving size is one teaspoon. Sliding down the label to the total carbohydrates it reads sugars “4g,” or “4 grams.” This important bit of information is your key to converting grams into teaspoons. Four grams of sugar is equal to one teaspoon. To be precise, 4.2 grams equals a teaspoon, but the nutrition facts rounds this number down to four grams.

Continue reading “How Much Sugar is in This…. Really?”