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Refined Sugar and Me Week 3 — By any other name would taste as sweet

Let’s check in on week three of refined sugar & me in 2017. So this week… I gained a pound back. Which is disappointing, but although I did continue to chill on added sugar, it was one of those weeks where… well…I ate everything else. But, I see what I did here and why, so this next week will be the week of getting back on track.

Although the craziest thing happened this week. You know how I mentioned that foods start to taste different after you eat less sugar from processed foods for a while? Well, I’ve never been a huge fan of plain Greek yogurt on its own and always mixed in honey, nuts, fruit, etc. to make it more palatable. A few days ago I ran out of sour cream so substituted Greek yogurt on these chili cheese cups — it was all of a sudden so good that I found myself eating the rest of the container.

(Yes, I originally bought this yogurt intending to use it as a starter for yogurt in the Instant Pot and never got around to doing it, but picked up another plain yogurt and will set that as a new goal for this week.)

Another thing I’m loving this week — when I crave something sweet, I cut up an apple and just sprinkle on a little cinnamon. Y-U-M.

Sugar by any other name…

Let’s talk this week about the myriad names for added sugar on food labels. There is no current requirement for companies to list added sugar grams on nutrition labels, although a new label with this information will be required on most packaged foods by July 2018. Current nutrition labels list total sugar grams, but don’t break down which are naturally occurring (say in fruit or dairy products) and which are added by the manufacturer — so it’s very hard to tell how much added sugars you’re consuming.

You can keep an eye out for the many names of sugar in ingredient lists, but as always, use your own judgement on what to buy. I’d much rather see honey listed on a label than high fructose corn syrup, for instance, but both are sugars, and both count as added sugars as opposed to natural sugars in foods. So, I thought it might be helpful to list some of the most common names for added sugars in foods so that you know what to look for in ingredient lists.

30 Common Added Sugars in Ingredient Lists

  • Agave syrup
  • Barley malt
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Cane sugar
  • Cane juice
  • Cane sugar
  • Cane syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Corn syrup solids
  • Dextrose
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Honey
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Refiner’s syrup
  • Rice syrup
  • Sorghum syrup
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • Tapioca syrup

As a general rule, look out for things ending in -ose or that contain the words “sugar” or “syrup.”

… Does not always necessarily taste as sweet

I think what trips a lot of us up is the amount of added sugar in products we don’t really think of as “sweet.” I just opened up my pantry and grabbed the first thing I saw, which happened to be a box of original Wheat Thins. Would you have guessed you’re getting sugar, malt syrup, and refiner’s syrup with every serving? This is of course just one small example, but these added sugars can add up so quickly during the course of one day.

So, that’s me this week

How are you doing on your own healthier eating plan so far — and what have you found that helps you stay on track? Follow the whole Refined Sugar and Me series here.

Printable added sugars list

Click the image below to open in a new tab to print & keep with you!


Tuesday 17th of January 2017

Let us know how your yogurt turns out. It takes a couple hours to prep because of the heating and cooling. I've been making it regularly with my instantpot. It tastes soooo much better than store bought.

I will confess, I've been using whole milk because my family likes the taste better then 1% or 2% and you get a higher yield of yogurt to whey with the whole, I think. I also add 1/2 to 3/4 c sugar and some vanilla to the gallon when cooling. DD14 has been taking it to school for lunch every day and even with my added sugar, there has to be less than in the store bought flavored cups.


Monday 16th of January 2017

It sounds like you're doing great. I guess there is a reason they keep telling us to stay away from prepared foods and make our own. I've been watching salt and it's terrible. I've never really liked overly salty foods, but, it's amazing the items that I still can't taste the salt in that are loaded with it. Some breads are a few hundred mg of sodium per slice and some flour tortillas have amazingly high numbers for sodium. I really miss bread and it's not getting easier for me. I have a decent recipe for low carb buns from gourmetgirlcooks, but, they just don't have that crisp and chewy texture that bread has. Why is everything that taste's great so bad for us?

Rachel - Volcano Mama

Monday 16th of January 2017

Hmmm interesting! I don't eat many prepared foods, I make mostly anything. But it's an interesting thought to think more about the many names sugar has and all the sneaky ways it finds itself into our stomachs! #productivemomslinkup


Monday 16th of January 2017

Thank you for the sugar-by-any-other-name list! It is so hard to know, unless the ingredients are super simple and identifiable (like "tomatoes"). I had some Progresso Tomato Basil soup the other day, and it tasted so sweet, I had to check the label. 15 g. of sugar per serving, and 2 servings per can. I was so surprised because I do usually read labels when I'm purchasing. I love your report on how everything tastes different once you stop eating sugar for awhile! Then sugary things don't taste great anymore, either. Also, I always sprinkle cinnamon on apple slices, too! And cinnamon helps regulate blood pressure.


Monday 16th of January 2017

Oh, I think Wheat thins taste kind of sweet if eaten plain. I used to love Aldi's knock off ones because they tasted so sweet to me! I buy my husband Aldi's brand of Triscuits and he eats a few with his meds in the morning. He actually likes their knock off ones better than Nabisco's. He tries to watch his sugar intake and I was actually shocked they contain zero grams of sugar!? Who knew? I will try to send you a picture of the label.

I was wondering how your first batch of yogurt came out! If you like that Aldi yogurt, just wait until you try your own. I just bought 2 gallons of 1% milk at Aldi this AM for 98c each. I plan to use 1 gallon for yogurt. I usually use skim milk but the 1% was cheaper (which I found odd, all kinds priced differently today) and yogurt comes out thicker with a little fat in it I have found. Walmart was completely out of ALL GALLONS of milk this AM. The $1 price tags were still on the empty doors.

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