Was it Shakespeare who said, “Sugar by any other name raises blood glucose just the same?”  Well, it may have actually been somebody else, but you get my point!  As part of my START SOMEWHERE RESET, I’m avoiding sugar for 30 days.  Being prone to insulin resistance, I want to stabilize my blood sugar and eat more foods that are low on the Glycemic Index.  Also, I hope to lose a couple of inches in my waist.  Sugar sleuthing is harder than I imagined because sugar’s many synonyms can be tricky to find!

The Glycemic Index, or GI, ranks a carbohydrate food by how much it raises blood glucose compared to a reference food.  Here are some alternative names of sugar that I unearthed.  I thought you would want to know about them too:

  1. Agave Nectar:  It sounds healthier but it’s really not.  It’s found in many organic foods, ice cream and some cereals.
  2. Barley Malt:  High on the glycemic index, this grain-based sweetener is half as sweet as sugar but is as high on the glycemic index as table sugar.  
  3. Beet Sugar:  Compromising more than 20 percent of the world’s sugar, it is usually genetically modified but not labeled thus so.
  4. Brown Rice Syrup:  Unfortunately, rice can be a source of arsenic in our diets, depending on how it’s grown.  According to the Food and Drug Administration, some types of cancer are associated with long-term exposure to arsenic.
  5. Cane Juice:  It sounds natural but it’s often grown in areas with less rigorous health regulations and can be contaminated.
  6. Caramel:  High in carbohydrates and calories, it is made by heating various sugars to the point of caramelization.
  7. Carob Syrup:  Unprocessed carob fruit is a healthy alternative but it’s mostly empty calories in the processed form.
  8. Caster Sugar:  This is regular table sugar more finely granulated.
  9. Corn Sweeteners:  Found in many cough syrups, antacids, and frozen foods, this is typically made from genetically-modified (GM) corn.  The long-term health effects of GM foods are mostly untested.
  10. Fructose/Crystalline Fructose:  Used as a fruit flavoring and found in ice cream and baked goods, this linked to high levels of fat in the blood (hyperlipidemia) and fatty liver disease.  Research shows that fructose is tied to our obesity epidemic and now accounts for about 10 percent of our daily calories.
  11. Corn Syrup Solids:  Found in dry beverage mixes and coffee creamer, this acts like high fructose corn syrup in our bodies, which is a bad thing.
  12. Ethyl Maltol:  Due to its extremely sweet scent and high sugar content, this is often used as a flavoring.
  13. Panela/Raspadura:  This is just a Latin American variation of pure sugar.  It is made from evaporated sugar cane.
  14. Treacle:  Found in merengues, treacle basically has zero nutrients.
  15. Turbinado Sugar/Raw Sugar:  Often claiming health benefits and somewhat “glamorous”, this sugar is basically processed by our bodies just like white sugar.  I have fallen for this many times!

There are a few sweeteners that have value beyond just empty calories. Here is some information on sweeteners that contain nutritive value:

  1. Coconut Sugar/Coconut Palm Sugar:  Relatively low on the glycemic food index, this sweetener contains magnesium, potassium and iron.  It is high in calories and is still not as nutrient dense as fresh fruit or fresh vegetables.
  2. Molasses Syrup:  A great source of iron and calcium, this sweetener has a high sulfur content and can act as a laxative.
  3. Oat Sugar/Avena Sativa:  A rich source of antioxidants, oat sugar in moderation has the potential to help lower cholesterol. It is high in calories and is often found in granola bars and baked goods.  
  4. Sorghum:  Often containing high levels of dietary fiber, sorghum is surprisingly extremely high in calories.  It is found in cereals, cakes, muffins, beer and other alcoholic beverages.  

Our bodies function better when blood glucose is stable.  Sugary sweet foods can cause a rapid rise in blood glucose and then a rapid decline.  Both are equally dangerous.  Sugar content is often “hidden in plain sight” and is estimated to be added to 74 percent of packaged foods.  There are over 60 different names for sugar listed on ingredient labels.

Venture with me as we learn to recognize sugar’s many synonyms.  Let’s LIVE YOUNGER by giving our bodies what they crave for repair and regeneration.  We can do it!

Sugar's Many Synonyms

Sugar’s Many Synonyms