Do you know what sugars you consume every day?

Mar 7, 2018


These days it is so hard to understand ingredients in products we consume every day due to the fact that ingredients are hidden in funny names we do not understand or clever marketing phrases that can mislead us to think that the ingredients are healthier.

Sugars are one of the bad ingredients all of us want to cut from our diets. You would first need to identify them to be able to cut them out.

There are so many different sugars and different names, so no better way than just to scoop into this sugar pot: 

Agave nectar is a sweetener commercially produced from several species of agave, including Agave Tequilana (blue agave) and Agave Salmiana. Agave syrup is sweeter than honey and tends to be less viscous. Most agave syrup comes from Mexico and South Africa.

Blackstrap molasses is the dark, viscous molasses that remain after maximum extraction of sugar from raw sugar cane. It has the consistency of a thick syrup, as the third boiling of sugar syrup yields blackstrap molasses. This concentrated byproduct is left over after the sugar's sucrose has been crystallized.

Natural cane sugar is made from sugar cane, while conventional white granulated sugar may be made from either cane or sugar beets. Since both plants produce molecules of sucrose that are identical, this is not a significant distinction.

Confectioner’s sugar: Powdered sugar and confectioners sugar are the same things. What's Cooking America speculates that the terms are simply regional preferences and points out that in England and Canada, powdered sugar is called icing sugar. It's also sometimes called 10X, which refers to how fine it is.

Icing Sugar: Powdered sugar, also called confectioners' sugar, icing sugar, and icing cake, is a finely ground sugar produced by milling granulated sugar into a powdered state. It usually contains a small amount of anti-caking agent to prevent clumping and improve flow.

Date sugar is one of those rare sugars that is pretty much what you’d expect- ground, dried dates. Some date sugar has a small amount of oat flour added to help prevent clumping. One of the most frustrating things about date sugar is its ability to form into one solid brick. It’s sweet, but not as sweet as cane sugar, light tan in colour and granulated.

Diastatic malt is a grain which has been sprouted, dried and grounded into a powder. By sprouting the grain (often wheat or barley), letting the grain grow into a small sprout, you activate the enzymes inside the grain. These active enzymes (diastase) release sugars from the flour/starch which help to grow your yeast.

Florida Crystals Natural Cane Sugar is a versatile, golden-tan, granulated sugar that can be used just like white refined sugar.

Galactose is a simple sugar found in milk. It is a monosaccharide (a simple carbohydrate), meaning that it is made up of only one sugar molecule. It is however rarely found in nature or in foods, as it is commonly found linked to glucose, forming the disaccharide lactose.

Golden Syrup, it is often claimed to be a healthier alternative to sugar but the way I see it, agave syrup is still refined and no more healthy than maple syrup or golden syrup. Both still contain the same level of sugars and have gone through a similar process of filtering, boiling, and reduction.

Refiner's (a.k.a. “Golden”) Syrup: Refiner's syrup (also called “golden syrup”) is made, as the name implies, at a sugar refinery, not at the sugar mill which is where molasses is produced. It's a by-product of the making of white sugar, the final “molasses” that are produced when white sugar is centrifuged.

Maltodextrin: The additive is mixed with a number of foods as a thickening agent, similar to the way corn syrup and sugars are added. Maltodextrin, however, does not have a sweet taste. Its unique chemical makeup makes it ideal for adding to foods. Those with celiac disease who should avoid foods with gluten should restrict intake of foods made with certain types of maltodextrin.

Muscovado: Also Khandsari and Khand, is a type of partially refined to unrefined sugar with a strong molasses content and flavour. It is technically considered either a non-centrifugal cane sugar or a centrifuged, partially refined sugar according to the process used by the manufacturer.

Barbados sugar: An unrefined sugar or raw sugar made from the juice of sugar cane. Dark brown in colour, Barbados sugar is fine-grained and soft-textured similar to brown sugar, providing a distinctively strong flavour when added to foods.

Demerara (pronounced Dem-err-rar-rar) sugar is a rare and exotic sugar sourced from plantations scattered across the globe.Coffee connoisseur’s regard this as one of the finest sugars to compliment the flavour of coffee.Demerara can be used to replace white or raw in most recipes but comes into its own creating tantalising toppings for delicacies like Crème Brulee or caramelized grilled fruit.

Diastase is an enzyme group that is originally found in malt and it is produced when the germination of the seeds happens. Diastase transforms starch into maltose and after that, it converts it this into glucose.

Fructose, or fruit sugar: is a simple ketonic monosaccharide found in many plants, where it is often bonded to glucose to form the disaccharide, sucrose. It is one of the three dietary monosaccharides, along with glucose and galactose, that are absorbed directly into blood during digestion.

Glucose comes from the Greek word for "sweet." It's a type of sugar you get from foods you eat, and your body uses it for energy. As it travels through your bloodstream to your cells, it's called blood glucose or blood sugar. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose from your blood into the cells for energy and storage.

Grape sugar - another name for dextrose.

Inverted or invert sugar is a mixture of glucose and fructose; it is obtained by splitting sucrose into these two components. The mixture is sold as a viscous liquid and is often referred to as Trimoline or invert syrup. Compared to sucrose, inverted sugar is sweeter and its products (glucose and fructose) tend to retain moisture and are less prone to crystallization.

Maltose: When long chains of sugars, such as starches, are broken down in the gastrointestinal tract, smaller sugars, including maltose, are generated. Although maltose is a small sugar, it is actually made of two smaller glucose sugars. Maltose is a bit too big for people to absorb, so your body must break it down into glucose in order to transport it to other parts of the body for use as fuel and for storing energy.

Raw sugar isn't even really raw. It's just slightly less refined, so it retains some of the molasses. But there's no real health real benefit from it. There's no more nutritional value in raw sugar than there is in white sugar or brown sugar.

Rice syrup: Also known as rice syrup or rice malt, is a sweetener which is rich in compounds categorized as sugars and is derived by culturing cooked rice starch with saccharifying enzymes to break down the starches, followed by straining off the liquid and reducing it by evaporative heating until the desired consistency is reached. The enzymes used in the saccharification step are supplied by an addition of sprouted barley grains to the rice starch (the traditional method) or by adding bacterial- or fungal-derived purified enzyme isolates (the modern, industrialized method).

Treacle is any uncrystallized syrup made during the refining of sugar. The most common forms of treacle are golden syrup, a pale variety, and a darker variety known as black treacle. Black treacle, or molasses, has a distinctively strong, slightly bitter flavour, and a richer colour than golden syrup.

Barley malt is made from sprouted barley. It's thick, dark, and has a mellow malt flavour. It's a favourite of health food companies because it's considered a slow-digesting sweetener. It also has half the sweetness of refined sugar, so it's great to use in your own kitchen and to make bread, sauces, veggie dishes, and, of course, home-brewed beer. To see how it compares to sugar

Carob (Ceratonia siliqua) is the fruit of the carob tree and grows as long, slightly curved, thick, dark brown pods anywhere from 4-10 inches (10-25 cm) in length. From a nutritional standpoint, carob is rich in a number of vitamins and minerals but is known to be particularly high in calcium.  Being a member of the legume family it is a source of protein and contains a substantial amount of dietary fiber.  Throughout history, carob has been used as a digestive aid and was traditionally used to soothe an upset stomach.Carob contains some antioxidants, mostly in the form of polyphenols.  It has alkalizing effects on body pH and in certain cultures, it is considered to be an aphrodisiac.

Dextran: It has found industrial application in food, pharmaceutical, and chemical industries as adjuvant, emulsifier, carrier and stabilizer. In the food, industry dextran is currently used as a thickener for jam and ice-cream. It prevents crystallization of sugar, improves moisture retention and maintains flavour and appearance of various food items.

Dextrose is the name of a simple sugar that is made from corn and is chemically identical to glucose, or blood sugar. Dextrose is often used in baking products as a sweetener and can be commonly found in items such as processed foods and corn syrup.Because dextrose is a “simple” sugar, the body can quickly use it for energy.

Ethyl Maltol E637 is an ideal food additive. It can be used as a good flavouring agent in tobacco, food, beverages, essence, wine, cosmetics. It enhances the flavour of food and increases the sweetness effects of food. It is also used in bakery products, chocolates, chewing gums, cocoa products, coffee, tea and herbal infusions. Side effects at high doses include hepato-renal dysfunction and acute hemolysis. It acts as an antioxidant too and is thus anti-aging, anti-cancerous and is good for a healthy heart.

Lactose: t is a sugar composed of galactose and glucose. Lactose makes up around 2–8% of milk (by weight). The name comes from lac (gen. lactis), the Latin word for milk, plus the suffix -"ose" used to name sugars. The compound is a white, water-soluble, non-hygroscopic solid with a mildly sweet taste.

Panocha: Cane sugar manufactured by a crude milling process/a sweet Filipino delicacy made from sugar cane.

Sweet sorghum is any of the many varieties of the sorghum grass whose stalks have a high sugar content. Sweet sorghum thrives better under drier and warmer conditions than many other crops and is grown primarily for forage, silage, and syrup production. Although in most of the United States the term molasses refers to a sweet syrup, made as a byproduct of sugarcane or sugar beet sugar extraction, sweet sorghum syrup is known as "sorghum molasses" in some regions of the U.S.

Turbinado sugar: A popular name for this sugar is “sugar in the raw.” Turbinado sugar is from pure cane sugar extract. The term turbinado comes from the technique used in the making of this sugar. The sugar is spun in a cylinder or turbine. Turbinado sugar is brown looking like brown sugar but paler in colour with a subtle molasses flavour.

Molasses, or black treacle (British, for human consumption; known as molasses otherwise), is a viscous product resulting from refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. Molasses varies by the amount of sugar, a method of extraction, and age of the plant. Sugarcane molasses is agreeable in taste and aroma, and is primarily used for sweetening and flavouring foods in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere, while sugar beet molasses is foul-smelling and unpalatable, so it is mainly (mostly) used as an animal feed additive in Europe and Russia, where it is chiefly produced. Molasses is a defining component of fine commercial brown sugar.

Sucrose is common table sugar. It is a disaccharide, a molecule composed of the two monosaccharides, glucose, and fructose. Sucrose is produced naturally in plants, from which table sugar is refined. For human consumption, sucrose is extracted, and refined, from either sugar cane or sugar beet.


Now that you know what sugars are named it will be much easier to cut them out or just to identify them.



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