15 Types of Sugar to Look Out For - Virgin Pure

By Bob Fear

15 Types of Sugar to Look Out For - Virgin Pure

Added sugar can be found in a variety of different names and forms in your food and drink. If you’re wondering if you’re having too much sugar in your diet, why not find out which types of sugars may be lurking. Here's what to avoid if you want to be sugar free and what's okay (in moderation) if you want to cut down...

What types of sugars are in your diet?

If you're trying to be sugar free - here are the names of the top fifteen offending types of sweeteners to avoid on a list of added ingredients:


First of all, glucose is the main sugar found in your blood. It’s your body’s main source of energy and comes from the food you eat.


Maltose is two glucose molecules bound together and is created in the parts of plants where energy is stored so it can be broken down. Foods like cereals, some fruits and sweet potatoes contain naturally high amounts of this sugar.


Dextrose is a type of simple sugar derived from corn and is chemically identical to glucose. It can be found in processed foods and corn syrup.


Sucrose is a naturally occurring sugar found in plants like fruits, vegetables and nuts.


You’ve probably heard of this one: lactose is a sugar that’s found in milk.


Fructose is a sugar that is found naturally in fruits, fruit juices, some vegetables and honey. Fructose is okay to have in whole fruit because it's naturally packaged up with fibre - exactly how nature intends you to consume sugar.

However, when you take the fibre away from fruit (like in fruit juices) and you're left with all that fructose - then it's not so good to have too much.

High-fructose corn syrup

High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a top offending type of sweetener to avoid. Just because it says 'fructose' it doesn't mean that it's all natural and good - it's a processed sweetener.

Some other sugars to look out for:

●Fruit juice concentrate

●Corn syrup

●Barley malt syrup

●Rice syrup

●Malt syrup



●Invert sugar

Do honey and maple syrup have sugar in them?

So, are honey and maple syrup a type of sugar? Yup - they're sugary too, but at least they're 100% natural and have lots of nutrients in them.

Maple syrup is sap from the maple tree and honey is made from flower nectar gathered by the beloved bee and has been used as a natural sweetener far longer than sugar.

You still shouldn't have too much, but if you are in need of a little something sweet to beat those sugar cravings in your food or drink, then a sneaky dollop of honey or maple syrup is your best bet. However, just be sure to avoid 'maple-flavoured' syrup - that is far from being the real thing.

How to avoid sugar

Remember: everything in moderation! If you’re struggling balancing your sugar intake, (especially after learning how many different types of sugar there are in our daily diets) we have some suggestions.

  1. Avoiding sugar in drinks is pretty easy – just stick with pure water and you can't go wrong. Adding a squeeze of lemon can help you to drink more water, as it switches up the flavour.
  2. When you’re craving something sugary, switch the chocolate craving for fruit. Because of the naturally occurring sugars, you can get your fix in a healthier way. Of course, not going overboard is key to this.
  3. If you’re trying to avoid lactose (the sugar in milk), switching to milk alternatives, like almond milk or oat milk, can be an easy swap.

Did you know that there are many artificial sweeteners that can replaces the sugars above? Discover their names so you can easily recognise them and find out the main side effects of artificial sweeteners here.

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