Do You Know Nutrition: Sugar by any other name still as sweet

By Phylis Canion
Jan. 15, 2013 at midnight
Updated Jan. 14, 2013 at 7:15 p.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

Like so many others, I am starting the new year out trying to eat better. I am trying to avoid sugar because I am a cancer survivor, and I know that sugar is a cancer feeder. I know there are other names for sugar like high fructose corn syrup but not sure what other names there might be. Could you please tell me other names for sugar? I know the substitutes or artificial ones, I think. A list of those might also be helpful. Thank you.

Because we became so aware of looking for sugar on food labels, manufacturers began listing sugar under different names to fool you, the consumer.

There are currently 50 names for sugar listed on food product labels and because of the importance of knowing what to look for, I will list all 50 in alphabetical order: barley malt, beet sugar, brown sugar, buttered syrup, cane juice crystals, cane sugar, caramel, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, confectioner's sugar, carob syrup, castor sugar, date sugar, demerara sugar, dextran, dextrose, diastatic malt, diatase, ethyl maltol, fructose, fruit juice, fruit juice concentrate, galactose, glucose, glucose solids, golden sugar, golden syrup, grape sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, icing sugar, invert sugar, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, muscovado sugar, panocha, raw sugar, refiner's sugar, rice syrup, sorbitol, sorghum syrup, sucrose, sugar, treacle, turbinado sugar and yellow sugar.

While some of these sugars are considered natural, such as molasses and honey, beet sugar has now come into question of late with concerns that beets are now being genetically modified. Genetically modified is defined as an organism whose DNA has been altered by the insertion of a modified gene; simply stated: genetic material that has been deliberately altered.

Since alien genes are not welcomed by the existing genes, suppressive techniques must be used to force the animal or plant to accept them. Such artificially mutated foods (genetically modified organisms) are a source of unresolved controversy over the uncertainty of their long-term effect on humans and food chains.

Here is the alphabetical listing of artificial sweeteners currently on the market: acesulfame potassium, alitame, aspartame, aspartame-acesulfame salt, cyclamate, erythritol, glycerol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone, saccharin, sucralose, thaumatin and genetically modified xylitol from corn (natural xylitol comes from the birch tree). While it is important to read food labels, it is more important to know what to look for when reading a food label.

Thought for the week: Enjoy life now - this is not a rehearsal.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant. Email her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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