Friday, February 12, 2010


I can't say I didn't see this coming. But just FYI, on a daily basis, we are duped. All of us. Swindled. Hoodwinked. Made victim of cold hearted corporate trickery! Read on and I will explain.

On the way to work this morning, I stopped at Publix to replenish my workday snack supply. Since starting my sugar free year, I'm an avid reader of ingredients lists while I aimlessly wander the aisles waiting to spot some deliciosity. Today, I spotted it quickly. A can of wasabi-soy covered almonds. Love them! [insert celebratory air guitar solo]. Buy one, get one? Don't mind if I do! I cradled the nut cans and decided I'd check out the Cheez-Its. While I walked toward the cracker aisle, I read the ingredients on the almonds.

Three ingredients in, I got de-nied. Almonds, canola oil, sugar.

Oh come on! So naturally, with a heavy heart because I love any and all combinations of wasabi and soy, I put them back on the shelf. I replaced them with the much less exciting but sugarless salt and pepper nut mix and moved on to the Cheez-Its. I chose Italian Four Cheese, paid for the snackage and went to work.

When I got a free minute, while stuffing my face with Italian Four Cheese Cheez-Its, I decided to do what I've been putting off: look a little deeper into alternative names for sugar. I knew there were several substances that hide in ingredients lists. They lay low like nothing's wrong when what's really, really wrong is that they are sugar masquerading as things you've never heard of. Some are actually sugar under a sneaky name, and some are basically sugar under a sneaky name. Either way, it is best that I avoid them.

So tell me how horrible it is that both the nuts I bought this morning and the Cheez-Its are wolves in sheep's clothing.

Yeah, that's right! Planters Salt and Pepper Nut Mix sits there in the can, acting sugarless, not even telling you about maltodextrin! And you think there's no sugar in Cheez-Its? How about they have both dextrose and corn syrup solids?

Like I said. Hoodwinked.

It looks like I'll need to step it up a notch or several for the rest of my sugar free year. I'll put some thought into what snacks are safe and report back later. In the meantime, courtesy of trainer Dustin Maher, here's a list of what you might see in an ingredients list that may as well say sugar.

1. Barley malt
2. Barbados sugar
3. Beet sugar
4. Brown sugar
5. Buttered syrup
6. Cane juice
7. Cane sugar
8. Caramel
9. Corn syrup
10. Corn syrup solids
11. Confectioner’s sugar
12. Carob syrup
13. Castor sugar
14. Date sugar
15. Dehydrated cane juice
16. Demerara sugar
17. Dextran
18. Dextrose
19. Diastatic malt
20. Diatase
21. Ethyl maltol
22. Free Flowing Brown Sugars
23. Fructose
24. Fruit juice
25. Fruit juice concentrate
26. Galactose
27. Glucose
28. Glucose solids
29. Golden sugar
30. Golden syrup
31. Grape sugar
32. High Frustose Corn Syrup
33. Honey
34. Icing sugar
35. Invert sugar
36. Lactose
37. Malt
38. Maltodextrin
39. Maltose
40. Malt syrup
41. Mannitol
42. Maple syrup
43. Molasses
44. Muscovado
45. Panocha
46. Powdered Sugar
47. Raw sugar
48. Refiner’s syrup
49. Rice syrup
50. Sorbitol
51. Sorghum syrup
52. Sucrose
53. Sugar (granulated)
54. Treacle
55. Turbinado sugar
56. Yellow sugar


  1. Oh man! And Cheez-Its were your snack of choice since it was thought it had no sugar! And that's kind of alarming that instead of outright putting sugar on the ingredients, some companies will use a lesser-known word or phrase.

  2. Man Spence, this whole thing has me thinking about how much sugar I put into my body every day. Your little discovery has freaked me out. I don't think I could ever do what you are doing, but feel strong knowing that you are educating others through your crazy experiment. Hope all is well with you. Love your blog.

  3. SVB: It IS alarming, isn't it?!

    Kate: So great to hear from you! Thank you so much! It freaks me out, too. There are so many popular choices of food that have so much in them (beyond sugar) that I believe is useless to the body and/or detrimental to it. The worst part is how few people know about it. Hopefully what I learn this year will make an impact!