Hidden Sugars Lists

There are so many different ways companies try to keep us from knowing that food has sugar in it. Companies have come up with really creative ways to hide sugar. They can formulate sugar in different ways and call it by a different name. They can label foods as “healthy” or “natural”, yet the foods are still loaded with refined sugars. They can use more technical names that the general public is less familiarwith. For example:

Would you rather drink water or dihydrogen monoxide?

They’re the same thing!

Dihydrogen monoxide is just a technical name for water. If you didn’t bother to look up dihydrogen monoxide on your own (or remember how to name molecules from chemistry class!), you might not figure out that dihydrogen monoxide is just another name for water. 

There are so many alternate names for refined sugar that can be easily looked over when looking at ingredient lists. Once you figure out how to identify hidden sugars, you can easily steer clear of them when you’re shopping for food. Keep on reading to find lists of hidden sugars and lists of foods that commonly have hidden sugars.

List of Foods with Hidden Sugars

Before we get into specific hidden sugars, it’s probably good to know about foods that seem healthy but are often loaded with hidden sugars. When I stopped eating refined sugar, I was surpised at how many condiments had refined sugar! Things like ketchup, salad dressings and sauces had so much refined sugar. Pasta sauce isn’t always just tomatoes! 

In addition to condiments, there are often refined sugars in many breakfast items including: granola bars, flavored oatmeal, yogurt and some breakfast cereals that on the surface, appear to be healthy. 

Beverages like soda obviously have a ton of refined sugars, but do you consider looking at fruit juices (apple, orange, etc), lemonade and teas for their added sugar content? Diet drinks can also contained refined sugars but are considered diet because they are lower in calories than their original counterparts. Flavored coffees (frappachinos anyone?) are also high in refined sugar and sugar substitutes. Some flavored waters also contain sugar!

Canned fruits in syrup contain extra sugar, instead, look for canned fruits in water. Applesauce isn’t always just apples and usually contains extra refined sugar. Peanut butter often contains refined sugar too, even if it is advertised as “natural” peanut butter.

Ok! Let’s get into the hidden sugars lists!

Hidden Sugars List- Syrups

Pancake syrup is likely an obvious place to find sugar. However, many companies take natural products like rice, distill them down just to the sugar, and then put that sugar into foods- but call it a syrup. Watch out for these syrups, which are just refined sugars:

  • Agava syrup (or agave nectar)
  • Barley syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Golden syrup
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Maple syrup
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Sorghum syrup


Hidden Sugars List- “-oses”

Essentially any ingredient that ends in “ose” is an added sugar. Many of these are articifical sweeteners. As I talked about in a previous article, eating large amounts of artificial sweeteners can raise your blood sugar levels as much as eating natural refined sugar. Pay attention to the “ose”s below:

  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Galactose
  • Glucose
  • Mannose
  • Ribose
  • Saccharose
  • Sucrose

Hidden Sugars List- “-ols”

Maybe you’ve realized that the ingredients that ends in “ol”s are sugar alcohols (makes sense!) Here are the names of some sugar alcohols:

  • Erythritol
  • Lactitol
  • Maltitol
  • Mannitol
  • Sorbitol
  • Xylitol

Hidden Sugars List- The Leftovers

alcoholsSome companies have gotten very clever and came up with totally new formulations for refined sugar, and do not use any of the above naming conventions for their sugars. Some of these are in the list below:

  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Crystalline fructose
  • Demeara
  • Dextrin
  • Diastatic malt
  • Evaporated Cane Juice
  • Florida Crystals
  • Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates
  • Isomalt
  • Maltodextrin
  • Muscavano sugar
  • Panela sugar
  • Succanat sugar
  • Sweet Sorghum
  • Treacle

Hidden Sugars List- Add to it!

I plan to keep updating this list as I learn more along my journey.

Do you know of any more hidden sugars that I’ve missed? Please comment below and share with us!



Happy shopping!





1 thought on “Hidden Sugars Lists”

  1. Jenny says:

    I have heard about some of them but definitely not all of these!! My hubby and me have been trying to avoid sugars this last couple of months since we were in a diet and has been really difficult to know what products have or don’t have sugar, just reading ingredients lists are so difficult to identify. I will keep this list on my fav, so I can check it when shopping groceries. Thx for sharing!

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