Sugar lurks in the most unlikely places…

This article is from a great website called Spoonful of Sugar Free

Sugar lurks in the most unlikely places, and it is everywhere! It’s like playing I-Spy in the ingredient list because it hides everywhere and disguises itself in many different names. Here is a list of all the names of “sugar” so that you can look for them on ingredient lists:

Agave nectarBarbados SugarBarley maltBeet sugar

Blackstrap molasses

Brown sugar

Buttered syrup

Cane crystals

Cane juice crystals

Cane sugar


Carob syrupCastor sugarConfectioner’s sugarCorn syrup

Corn sweetener

Corn syrup solids

Corn Sugar

Crystalline fructose

Date sugar

Demerara Sugar


DextranDextroseDiastatic maltDiatase


Evaporated cane juice

Ethyl maltol

Florida Crystals

Free Flowing



GlucoseGlucose solidsGolden sugarGolden syrup

Granulated sugar

Grape sugar


High-fructose corn Syrup


Icing sugar

Invert sugar

LactoseMalt syrupMaltodextrinMaltose


Powdered sugar

Raw sugar

Refiner’s syrup

Rice Syrup

Maple syrup


Muscovado sugarOrganic raw sugarPanochaSorbitol




Table sugar


Turbinado sugar

Yellow sugar

So many names! You don’t have to memorize all of them, though. Just use look for any kind of “sugar,” “syrup,” or anything that ends in “-ose,” and then stay away from it.

Here are some surprising foods sugar lurks in:


Ketchup is a major culprit. There are about 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon of ketchup. That is about a teaspoon of sugar per serving. It’s like someone put sugar in the salt shaker, and you are pouring it all over your burger! Most brands use high fructose corn syrup, too. I have yet to find a brand that adds no sugar. Thankfully, I don’t like the taste of ketchup anyway. Stick to the already sugar-free mustard if you need something to dip your fries in.

Pickles and Relish. Bread and Butter, Sweet relish, and sometimes even dill pickles have sugar. Check the ingredients, or make your own! There are lots of recipes out there, but you basically just soak your cucumbers in vinegar and any other spice you want: dill, onions, pepper, garlic, jalepenos…

Jam and Jelly. All pre-made, regular jams add sugar. Look for jars that say “just fruit.” Then check the ingredient list to see if it only has fruit in it. You can always use whole fruit to top your toast or peanut butter sandwich. Try slicing fresh bananas, strawberries, or apples.

Nuts and Nutbutters. Many nutbutters contain sugar, and some nuts are roasted sugar. Look at the ingredients. It should say just “nut and salt.”

Soy Sauce. All regular soy sauces I look at contain sugar. My favorite is liquid aminos because t is not only sugar-free, but wheat-free, too.


I do not eat dairy, but many of you like yogurt. Beware of all of the flavored yogurts. They all contain sugar. Your best bet is buying plain yogurt and mixing it with your own fruit. Caution: “Vanilla” is not “Plain.”


Obviously, sugar cereals like Honey-Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Cookie Crisps, and Frosted Wheeties have sugar, but did you know most plain cereals contain sugar, too? Regular Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Special K, Chex, and even the so-called healthy healthy cereals like granola contain sugar. Check the ingredients, or make oatmeal.

Canned Goods

Soups, veggies, fruit, or sauces. It hides everywhere. Check the ingredients.

Sports Drinks and Bars

All sports bar and all sports drinks have sugar. I have yet to find one that doesn’t. Also, watch out for protein powders.

Pre-Packaged Meals

T.V. Dinners, meats, frozen pizza.

Baked Goods and Breads

Tortillas, Breads, Muffins, Pancake Mixes, Crackers.


Dried Fruit. Chewing Gum and Mints. Extracts.

Check the Ingredients!!!

I cannot stress this enough! It hides everywhere. Also, products that say they are “sugar-free” are almost always sweetened with sugar-substitutes like maltitol, xylitol, splenda, or aspartame. Check, check, check the ingredients! It takes 10 seconds. You will be surprised at what you find.

Make your own!

When all your favorite foods have sugar in it, what are you supposed to do? Make it without sugar. This is one reason way I created this website, to show you all that you can make foods sugar-free.

Here is a recipe for sugar-free Barbeque Sauce. Most barbeque sauces contain all sorts of sugars. Just like ketchup, it has about 4 grams of sugar per Tablespoon. That is a teaspoon of sugar per serving.

Homemade Sugar-Free Barbeque Sauce

~This barbeque sauce is vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free, an, of course, sugar-free!


  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder (or 1 cove minced garlic)
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika (I suggest using smoked paprika)
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • optional: 1 teaspoon hot sauce
Stir together thoroughly. Serve hot or cold on your favorite meat, bean, burger, or even as a dipping sauce for fries.
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