How about limiting our sugar intake for the new year?

If limiting the amount of sugar in your diet is your New Year’s resolution, then this post is for you! “Hidden” sugars are in most processed products. If undetected, hidden sugars can easily impact your blood sugar even when you might think your diet is reasonably healthy. Reading labels is really important. There are numerous names for sugar in processed foods, so being familiar with those names is helpful to stay away from all this unwanted added sugar. Getting rid of foods containing hidden sugars might be the best first step in your step-by-step approach to getting rid of foods that do not contribute to sustaining your health and wellness.

How to spot “hidden” sugars in labels

What follows is a list of most of the various names for sugar in processed foods, as stated in Feeding You Lies, by Vani Hari:

  • Agave nectar                                                     
  • Barbados sugar                                                 
  • Barley malt                                                        
  • Beet sugar                                                         
  • Blackstrap molasses                                         
  • Brown sugar                                                      
  • Buttered syrup                                       
  • Cane juice crystals                                          
  • Cane sugar                                                        
  • Caramel                                                           
  • Carob syrup                                                       
  • Castor sugar                                                      
  • Confectioner’s sugar                                          
  • Corn syrup                                                        
  • Corn syrup solids                                              
  • Crystalline fructose                                             
  • Date sugar                                                        
  • Demerara sugar                                              
  • Dextrane                                                          
  • Dextrose                                                            
  • Diastase                                                            
  • Diastatic malt                                                       
  • Ethyl maltol                                                      
  • Evaporated cane juice                                   
  • Fructose                                                             
  • Fruit juice                                                       
  • Fruit juice concentrate                                  
  • Galactose                                                     
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Granulated sugar
  • Grape sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s sugar
  • Rice syrup
  • Sorbitol
  • Sorghum syrup 
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar 
  • Yellow sugar                                                                                                            

What about “sugar-free” products?

Beyond this helpful list that can allow us to spot “hidden” sugars much more easily, another thing to stay away from are “sugar-free” processed foods. Why? Here’s an example of why, as explained in Keto Answers, by Dr. Anthony Gustin and Chris Irvin:  “[W]e have tested a lot of “sugar-free” snacks and have seen huge increases in blood sugar. A notable brand here is SmartSweets, which provides gummy versions of our favorite candies and markets them as only having 3 grams of sugar per serving. The catch? They use 30 grams of low-quality fiber syrups that they can label as fiber on the nutrition facts but act just like sugar in your bloodstream.”

In summary

If cutting down your sugar intake is one of your top priorities for the new year, becoming familiar with the various types of sugar and staying away from “sugar-free” processed foods are two major steps to take. Of course, this leads to eating whole foods. Whenever you want to use sugar in a recipe (beverage, dessert, or other), make sure you use healthy sugar substitutes instead of the traditional refined sugar. 

Have a Wonderful New Year!


Gustin, Anthony, and Chris Irvin. Keto Answers : Simplifying Everything You Need to Know about the World’s Most Confusing Diet. Middletown, De, Four Pillar Health, 2019, p. 396.

Vani Hari. FEEDING YOU LIES : How to Unravel the Food Industry’s Playbook and Reclaim Your Health. Carlsbad, California, Hay House, Inc., 2019, p. 101.

You can also find me on Instagram.

Healthy sugar substitutes?

As we are now fully launched into the Holiday season, we should be looking to find ways to consume our delicious sweets while still bypassing the damaging effects regular refined sugar and artificial sweeteners offer. A great way to do this is by using healthy sugar substitutes. There are quite a few healthy sugar substitutes available in most stores now which means that making the switch has never been easier. 

What’s wrong with sugar?

The problem with sugar is that it is addictive, just like a drug. And consuming excessive amounts of sugar can trigger numerous health issues. In her book, Feeding You Lies: How to Unravel the Food Industry’s Playbook and Reclaim Your Health, Vani Hari lists some of the health issues consuming too much sugar can lead to:

  • Weight gain
  • Aging
  • Inflammation
  • Liver problems
  • Tooth decay
  • Fatigue and irritability
  • Brain dangers
  • Poor immunity
  • Heart troubles

Healthy sugar substitutes to buy

Healthy sugar substitutes are not to be consumed in excess either. But they do have the advantage to satisfy your sweet tooth without the side effects refined sugar, artificial sweeteners (and high fructose corn syrup) can trigger. On his website, Dr. Axe lists 11 natural sweeteners that can be used as sugar substitutes:

  • Raw honey
  • Stevia
  • Dates
  • Coconut sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Banana puree
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Real fruit jam
  • Monk fruit

The sugar substitutes I use

Being now that I’m fifty and have a high carbohydrate sensitivity (as mentioned in my first blog post), I have to constantly watch my carbohydrate intake. I am doing this very rigorously by eating a low-carb diet (almost borderline keto diet) and as a result my hemoglobin A1C (a measure of blood sugar levels of three straight months) is 5.1 (the range being 4.8 – 5.6). I bought a blood glucose monitor to help me see which foods tend to raise blood sugar too much. This is really helpful to get a clear picture of what is okay to eat and no one has to wait to have diabetes in order to do that. I have monk fruit at home. Stevia is another option I would consume. When I eat something slightly sweet, right away it makes me want to eat more. So I really stay away from anything sugary at this point. Healthy fats can be way more satisfying anyway!

Are you consuming healthy sugar substitutes? What are your favorite ones?


Axe, Josh. “11 Best Sugar Substitutes (the Healthiest Natural Sweeteners).” Dr. Axe, 9 May 2019, sugar-substitutes. Accessed 28 Nov. 2019.

Vani Hari. FEEDING YOU LIES : How to Unravel the Food Industry’s Playbook and Reclaim Your Health. Carlsbad, California, Hay House, Inc., 2019, pp. 81–88.

You can also find me on Instagram.