55 Sneaky Words on Food Labels You Need to Avoid

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Your food label may not directly say sugar on it, but be weary! Sugar can come in all shapes and sizes—particularly different names—that secretly add the sweet stuff, and the excess calories, to your favorite beloved foods. This is why it’s important to note the food labels to avoid if you see any of these sneaky words on them.

“Yes, sugar hides in plain view,” says Dr. Whitney Bowe. “Apart from the obvious places, if you look on a label you’ll find it in unlikely places, such as hamburger buns, French fries, potato chips, and processed meats. It may be called something other than ‘sugar.’ Cane sugar, sucrose, fructose, agave nectar, high fructose corn syrup—but sugar is sugar, no matter how you spell it.”

The FDA requires food manufacturers to have an ingredients list on each of their products. The FDA also states that the ingredients list on a food label is listed in “descending order of predominance,” meaning if you see any of these sneaky words listed in the first few ingredients on your food label, you should probably avoid it.

When you add them up, there are more than 55 names for sugar used on food labels to avoid. We split up the most common sugars food manufacturers use in alphabetical order so they are easy to find! Here they are, and for more healthy tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

Sugary cereal
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  • Agave Nectar
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Aspartame
  • Barley Malt
  • Blackstrap Molasses
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Brown Sugar
  • Buttered Syrup

Here is The Only Thing That Will Kill Your Sugar Cravings.

bowl of candy
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  • Cane Juice Crystals
  • Cane Sugar
  • Caramel
  • Carob Syrup
  • Castor Sugar
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Confectioner’s Sugar
  • Corn Syrup
  • Corn Syrup Solids
  • Date Sugar
  • Dextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Diastatic Malt

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Glazed donuts
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  • Ethyl Maltol
  • Evaporated Cane Juice
  • Florida Crystals
  • Fruit Juice
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Glucose Solids
  • Golden Sugar
  • Golden Syrup
  • Grape Sugar

Here’s What Eating Added Sugars Does to Your Body.

colorful sugary kids cereal in white bowl on blue towel
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  • High Fructose
  • Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing Sugar
  • Invert Sugar
  • Malt Syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maple Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado Sugar

Here are 14 Sneaky Sources of Added Sugars to avoid.

chocolate oreo cookies
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  • Panela Sugar
  • Raw Sugar
  • Refiner’s Syrup
  • Rice Syrup
  • Saccharin
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • Sucanat
  • Sucralose

Here are the Surefire Signs You’re Addicted to Sugar.

Chocolate bar
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  • Treacle Sugar
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Unrefined Sugar
  • Yellow Sugar

Looking to cut out sugar? Here are 10 Easy Ways to Eat Less Sugar From a Celebrity Nutritionist.

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