How to Identify Sugar on an Ingredients Label

Nov 30, 2020
At this point, most of us know we should be conscious of the amount of added sugar we eat each day. Excessive sugar consumption is associated with a myriad of health conditions, including increased tooth decay, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, cognitive decline, and even cancer. As a result, the American Heart Association recommends men consume no more than 150 calories or 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day, and women consume no more than 100 calories or 6 teaspoons per day.
However, even if we know to avoid added sugar when possible, that’s a lot easier said than done. Sugar is added to 74% of packaged foods — and we’re not just talking about products on the dessert aisle. It’s also found in unsuspecting foods like bread and pasta sauce, and can be particularly sneaky to find in foods marketed as “healthy,” such as yogurt and granola bars.
Avoiding sugars can also be challenging if you don’t know all the different ways sugar can be hiding in plain sight on an ingredients list. While the FDA requires food manufacturers to list all the ingredients in their foods, there are 61 different names for added sugar, making it difficult for consumers to identify, even if they read the label.
Added sugar often takes the form of sucrose, also known as table sugar. It can also be derived from fruit, beets, corn, or made entirely in a lab. Below is a list of the different forms added sugar can take. Once you begin to recognize these, it’s easier to identify and avoid added sugar in your food.
This is a long list, so feel free to take a screenshot or save this article for future reference. The good news is that the Trash Panda App helps you easily identify all these names for added sugar so you don’t have to remember any of them.
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