80 Words That Mean One Thing: Added Sugar

In All Health Watch, Cancer, Diet and Nutrition, Featured Article, Health Warning

Gomme? Drimol? Mizuame? Treacle?

You probably don’t know what these words mean.

That’s the idea.

They are terms used on food labels to hide added sugar.

After sugar became public health enemy number one in the minds of many consumers, Big Sugar had to find a way to keep its profits flowing. It did so simply by using different names for sugar, making it difficult to spot its poisonous product on labels.

For years, study after study has shown that sugar is killing Americans. It’s linked to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression, tooth decay, and more.

Sugary drinks kill about 184,000 people a year, according to a study by Tufts University.1

For decades Big Sugar attempted to discredit research which found sugar is harmful. And it tried to mislead the public by paying for “faux science” showing that sugar is healthy.2

The jig is up. The FDA has announced new requirements for nutrition labels. It forces food makers to be honest about the sugar they add to their products.3

The current label is on the left. The new label is on the right. As you can see, the new version has a line that clearly states how much sugar is added.4


Sugar by Any Other Name Is Still Unhealthy

The new label will be required starting in 2018 for large food companies. Small companies have until 2019 to comply.5

Until then, it’s difficult to know how much sugar you’re eating by looking at nutrition labels. Big Sugar successfully disguises the ingredient under dozens of aliases. They include flo-malt, honi-flake, and the others mentioned earlier.

Dr. Barry Popkin is a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina. His research found added sugar in 60% of the packaged foods in U.S. grocery stores.6

Professor Popkin compiled a list of dozens of names used by the food industry as stand-ins for sugar.7

80 Food Label Weasel Words that Hide Added Sugar

1. Agave juice
2. Agave nectar
3. Agave sap
4. Agave syrup
5. Beet sugar
6. Brown rice syrup
7. Brown sugar
8. Cane juice
9. Cane sugar
10. Cane syrup
11. Clintose
12. Corn glucose syrup
13. Corn sweet
14. Corn sweetener
15. Corn syrup
16. Date sugar
17. Dextrose
18. Drimol
19. Dri mol
20. Dri-mol
21. Drisweet
22. Dri sweet
23. Dri-sweet
24. Dried raisin sweetener
25. Edible lactose
26. Flo malt
27. Flo-malt
28. Flomalt
29. Fructose
30. Fructose sweetener
31. Glaze and icing sugar
32. Glaze icing sugar
33. Golden syrup
34. Gomme
35. Granular sweetener
36. Granulated sugar
37. Hi-fructose corn syrup
38. High fructose corn syrup
39. Honey
40. Honibake
41. Honi bake
42. Honi-bake
43. Honi flake
44. Honi-flake
45. Invert sugar
46. Inverted sugar
47. Isoglucose
48. Isomaltulose
49. Kona ame
50. Kona-ame
51. Lactose
52. Liquid sweetener
53. Malt
54. Malt sweetener
55. Malt syrup
56. Maltose
57. Maple
58. Maple sugar
59. Maple syrup
60. Mizu ame
61. Mizu-ame
62. Mizuame
63. Molasses
64. Nulomoline
65. Powdered sugar
66. Rice syrup
67. Sorghum
68. Sorghum syrup
69. Starch sweetener
70. Sucanat
71. Sucrose
72. Sucrovert
73. Sugar beet
74. Sugar invert
75. Sweet n Neat
76. Treacle
77. Trehalose
78. Tru sweet
79. Turbinado sugar
80. Versatose

Professor Popkin found that fruit juice concentrates are another common way to slip sugar into foods. Before it’s added to foods, the fruit is stripped of nearly all its nutrients, leaving mostly sugar.

If you see the name of a fruit followed by the words “juice concentrate,” don’t be fooled. This is just another way to say “added sugar.”

Making matters worse, manufacturers are allowed to label food as “organic” or “natural” even when it has added sugar in the form of juice concentrates.

When the new labels come out, “It’s going to really surprise people who go to organic and whole foods stores, when they find that all this natural food they’ve been buying is full of added sugar,” says Professor Popkin. “It’s full of fruit juice concentrates, and they thought it was all good stuff.”8

As you would expect, Big Sugar is fighting the new label requirements. It has plenty of money—and an army of lawyers and lobbyists—on its side. But so far, there’s no indication the FDA will give in.9

So stay tuned…we’ll keep you updated.

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