Sugar by any other name would taste as sweet

Everything in moderation is what they say is needed for a well-balanced diet. Foods that are high in fat, salt and sugar should be avoided while fruit and vegetables, unsaturated oils and spreads, beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins are key to a healthy diet.

But when added sugars lurk unnoticed in many of our everyday foods under countless different names, how can we really know how much sugar we are consuming?

Always check the label.

Food manufacturers add sugar to foods that may not even taste sweet and list the sugars further down in the items. This makes it look as though there is not much sugar in their product, however, when you add them all up, sugar is often the number one ingredient in all its hidden forms.

How much sugar can we eat?

The government recommends that sugars added to food or drinks, and sugars found naturally in honey, syrups, and unsweetened fruit and vegetable juices, smoothies and purées – should not make up more than 5% of the energy (calories) we get from food and drink each day.

This means:

Up to 30g of sugar a day (roughly equivalent to 7 sugar cubes) for an adult.

No more than 24g of sugar a day (6 sugar cubes) for children aged 7 to 10.

No more than 19g of sugar a day (5 sugar cubes) for children aged 4 to 6.

For children under the age of 4, it’s recommended they avoid sugar-sweetened drinks and foods with added sugar.

What’s in a name?

If you are looking to limit your sugar intake, here are some of the other names sugar goes by:

Anhydrous dextrose


Agave nectar

Agave syrup

Barbados sugar

Barley malt syrup

Beet sugar

Blackstrap molasses

Brown rice syrup

Brown sugar (light and dark brown)

Buttered Syrup

Cane juice

Cane juice crystals

Cane juice solids

Cane sugar

Cane syrup


Carob syrup

Caster sugar

Coconut blossom nectar

Coconut palm sugar

Coconut sugar

Concentrated apple juice

Confectioners’ sugar

Corn sugar

Corn syrup

Corn syrup solids

Corn Sweetener

Crystalline fructose

Dark muscovado sugar

Date sugar

Date Syrup

Demerara sugar



Dehydrated cane juice


Diastatic malt

Dried oat syrup

Ethyl Maltol

Evaporated cane juice

Evaporated cane syrup

Evaporated sugar cane

Florida crystals


Fructose crystals

Fruit juice crystals

Fruit juice concentrate


Glazing sugar


Glucose fructose syrup

Glucose syrup

Golden caster sugar

Golden syrup

Granulated sugar

Grape sugar

Gum syrup

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)


Icing sugar

Invert sugar

Invert syrup



King’s syrup




Malt sugar

Malt syrup

Maple syrup

Maple sugar




Organic sugar

Organic raw sugar

Palm sugar

Pancake syrup


Powdered sugar

Raw sugar

Refiners’ syrup

Rice syrup


Sorghum syrup




Sugar beet syrup

Superfine sugar

Simple syrup

Table sugar


Turbinado sugar

White sugar

Yellow sugar

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