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Sugar in disguise


Cutting back the amount of sugar you eat is one key way to eat healthier. But sugar hides in a lot of unexpected places. The following 8 ingredients are sugar in disguise.

  • Agave nectar
  • Date sugar
  • Honey
  • Barley malt
  • Maltodextrin
  • Molasses
  • Rice syrup/brown rice syrup
  • Anything that rhymes with gross (dextrose, fructose, glucose, sucrose, etc.)

What types of foods have these hidden sugars?

These sugars in disguise are often found in processed foods, especially those marketed as more healthful/natural than comparable products. Examples include: gluten free products, granola/granola bars, cereals, beverages, etc.

I thought agave, date sugar and honey was a better alternative to regular sugar?

While agave nectar, date sugar, and honey are all marketed as being healthier than sugar or corn syrup, they really aren’t that different as they’re made up of the same components. The main difference is where the sugars come from. Agave syrup comes from the agave plant, date sugar from dates, and honey is produced by bees, while sugar comes from sugar cane and corn syrup comes from corn!

Looking for more guidance on your diet? 

Make an appointment with the dietitians in the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.