The #1 Reason it’s in Everything! Sugar is a master of disguise: just because you don’t see “sugar” when scanning a list of ingredients does not guarantee the item is sugar-free.
Sugar goes by many different names, making it easy for manufacturers to hide how much sugar is truly in any given product.
Here are a whopping 71 different names for sugar! While some of these names are more obvious, others are trickier to spot.
The Most Common Names for Sugar
- Agave juice
- Agave nectar
- Agave syrup, all varieties
- Beet sugar
- Blackstrap molasses
- Brown rice syrup
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane juice
- Cane juice crystals
- Cane sugar
- Cane syrup
- Carob syrup
- Castor sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Corn glucose syrup
- Corn syrup
- Corn syrup solids
- Date sugar/syrup
- Demerara sugar
- Ethyl maltol
- Evaporated cane juice
- Flo malt
- Florida crystals
- Fructose sweetener
- Fruit juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Glucose solids
- Golden sugar
- Golden syrup
- Granular sweetener
- Granulated sugar
- Grape sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
- Icing sugar
- Inverted sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple sugar
- Maple syrup
- Muscovado sugar
- Panela sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Raw sugar
- Refiner’s syrup
- Rice syrup
- Sorghum syrup
- Starch sweetener
- Sugar beet
- Treacle or treacle sugar
- Turbinado sugar
- Unrefined sugar
- Yellow sugar
Shockingly, over 68% of food products sold in the US contain added sweeteners—even if they are labeled as “natural” or “healthy.” The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all packaged food and beverage nutrition labels display the sugar content per serving.
The best way to ensure you’re not consuming excess added sugars is to get in the habit of looking at the ingredients before you throw an item in your cart.
Sugar acts as a temporary energy source but isn’t sustainable OR nutritious. If you’ve been using sugar as a means to fuel your day, your body is certainly paying the price.
Thirty million Americans have Type 2 Diabetes, while another 88 million are prediabetic or undiagnosed.
It’s not sugar alone that is responsible; our nation has a love affair with burgers, wings, pizza, soda, and chips. Life is short. Sugar is delicious.
Sugar is one habit we don’t even think about, like breathing and brushing our teeth. These days our kids, ages 4-8 years old, consume 50 pounds of sugar every year; in some cases, that is their body weight. We celebrate milestones with cake and ice cream.
Not only does sugar paralyze your Immune System and cause inflammation, but it can potentially turn on specific cancer-causing cells! Sugars feed Cancer.
Our mouth is a window into our body. What we put in and how we take care of it directly correlates to how we feel and how healthy we are.
When you go to the Dentist, what are you more likely to hear to prevent dental disease?
Brush, floss, and use fluoride toothpaste, or do you need to cut out sugars in your diet?
You and I were taught the “brush, floss, and fluoride” message.
Sugar reduction may also be mentioned, but it is never the primary message for the Dentist. The ADA and the ADHA websites continue to preach the brush, floss, and fluoride message with rarely a mention of reducing sugars or balancing the pH.
The oral-systemic connection has received a great deal of attention in the past several years, with studies linking periodontal disease with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and obesity, to name a few.
The theory is bacteria from the mouth move to other parts of the body, contributing to systemic diseases. The question becomes …
Is this the cause, or is it a symptom?
Do dental diseases and systemic diseases share a common cause other than bacteria? Researchers n the 1960s presented two nutritional theories to explain both dental and systemic diseases. The first was postulated by Dr. Thomas Cleave and Dr. John Yudkin, both from England. Their theory proposed that excessive fermentable carbohydrate consumption, without oral hygiene or fluoride, led to dental and systemic diseases.
Yudkin was a physiologist and nutritionist who recommended a low carbohydrate diet for those wanting to lose weight and warned about the dangers to the health of overconsumption of sugar. In 1972, he published a book about the dangers of sugar entitled “Pure, White and Deadly.” he noticed that when sugar was introduced to a culture that hadn’t had it before, coronary health disease increased significantly.
Dental disease was the first warning sign in a cascade of systemic diseases. This was in the late 1960s and early 1970s. According to Cleave and Yudkin, restricting carbohydrate consumption was the answer to reducing both dental and systemic diseases.
In 1966, Cleave published data showing the introduction and addiction to refined carbohydrates led first to dental disease, followed by systemic diseases. Yudkin also published findings in 1972 that sugar played a considerable role in the modern epidemic of coronary heart disease.
Dental diseases, caries, and periodontal disease were considered the alarm for future systemic diseases. The dental disease occurred within months of introducing fermentable carbohydrates to the diet, diabetes followed 20 years later, and heart disease was evident in 30 years. Many long-term studies have confirmed the validity of the carbohydrate theory and disproved the low-fat theory when monitoring dental disease, diabetes, and heart disease.
How does it work?
Sugar is more than a substance. It is equal parts science, chemistry, industry, and commerce. It is cursed as a toxin, addiction, drug, exploiter of children, and the leading cause of disease. That is an awful lot of baggage for one tiny molecule.
Sugar is composed of a wide variety of simple and compound molecules that provide the body with energy.
Sugar is not just sugar anymore to the human body; all sugars and all carbohydrates, for that matter, are just fuel. In most cases, the liver and digestive system have to work to convert the sugar we consume into the kind of fuel our body can use.
Sugary foods activate taste receptors in the tongue and send a signal to the brain and the gut. Every time we eat sugar, it releases dopamine in the brain. It is part of the reason we feel good after we eat it. The pathways and the press of how we respond to sugar are deeply embedded. It’s no wonder sugary foods trigger a sense of pleasure and are so addictive. If you haven’t had it in a while, it can put you in a bad mood or get you hangry.
Changing Habits … Again
Cavities happened even before the agricultural revolution, but during the early years of human history, Dentists would not have had much business, not what they do now.
Become a detective and figure out how much sugar you ingest. Do you brush and floss yet still have bleeding gums? Are cavities still a significant problem?
Sugar is everywhere. Most people don’t think they eat much sugar because they don’t dip into a sugar bowl, but they consume processed foods, juice, and soda. Start reading labels to see which foods you eat have added sugar. Even table salt contains sugar: dextrose. Sugar is added to keep the salt from clumping.
If I had just one message for patients, it would be to take the health of your mouth seriously. Do you brush, floss and fluoride, or would you consider the fermentable carbohydrate theory of oral-systemic disease? Is our time better spent chasing symptoms or dealing with the cause of the disease? The traditional oral hygiene message is much easier to present than convincing a society addicted to sugar to reduce carbohydrates intake.
The oral-systemic link is not simply about bacteria; it’s all about sugar and pH balance.
Find out how much better you can feel once you back off the sugar and chips and replace your meals with nutritious foods instead!
For over 20 years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested that an individual’s sugar consumption should be no more than 10 percent of their total caloric intake.
Although sugar’s effect on teeth has been known for quite some time, this study suggests that a diet made up of less than 10 percent sugar can dramatically decrease the chances of tooth decay occurring. To go even further, one of the lead researchers, Professor Paula Moynihan, Professor of Nutrition and Oral Health at Newcastle University, suggests even cutting your sugar intake down to 5 percent of your daily caloric value to lower chances of developing tooth decay throughout your lifetime.
To conduct their research, 55 studies dating back as far as 1950 were gathered to examine the relationship between sugar intake and the presence of tooth decay.
Before sugar, honey was the main sweetener, tree sap, agave nectar, and mashed fruit. It wasn’t until the 1900’s we started refining sugar. It is possible to reshape our habits and our environment to change the amount of illness. Admittedly, It is not a simple change1 If it was, we would not have the problems we have in this country. Will power is hard with marketing and taglines. The food industry maximizes the appeal. We are running ads priming sugar four times in a half-hour show on TV. These foods are cheap plentiful, and they taste good. How do we get healthy? We start giving our children fruits and vegetables, so they grow to learn to like them, and they are part of how we feed our families. In the pandemic, we saw how processed foods were flying off the shelves, and we were stockpiling. But are we healthier or just doing what’s easy?
We might want to consider going back to being hunter-gatherers and growing our own food.