New Banana T-shirt + Feel Amazing Vibes T-shirt | Free Shipping on all US Orders!

Guide to Hidden Sugars

Nutrition Stripped

First, I have to so a huge THANK YOU to all of you for the amazing feedback on the Nutrition Stripped YouTube channel with cooking videos and for reaching 100,000 followers on Instagram! Because of this amazing achievement, I’m throwing a huge giveaway, on Instagram only, so be sure to check out the post and follow the directions there to win! Seriously, y’all are so great, I’m incredibly grateful you take the time to read this little ole’ blog of mine. So, earlier this week, I gave a talk at a private event about the Nutrition Stripped and whole food lifestyle and my philosophy on food- it was a fantastic event and we had some great individuals in the crowd asking some awesome questions.

Many of those questions circulated about carbohydrate intake, gluten, how to read the food label, what to do when shopping, and of course the hot topic of sugar. Hidden sugars and artificial sweeteners are one of the many questions I receive from clients and readers like you. What do you do about “natural” whole food sources of sugar in the whole foods lifestyle, are they still “okay” to consume regularly? I compiled a list of these “hidden sugars”, a.k.a. fancy names for sugar to look out for when purchasing processed foods. There’s also a downloadable free print out of this guide so you can bring it with you to the grocery store, hang on your fridge, or share with a friend. I hope you all find it useful!

All sugar isn’t bad.

When we think of sugar or carbohydrates in our diets, we have to think about the overall intake from the day, the week, and overall sources used- you know, the big picture of things! Sugar is one of the most “hated on” components in the diet, some for good reason and some just being dramatic. Too much sugar in someones diet may lead to: impaired glucose and insulin function which may lead to diabetes if lifestyle and high sugar intake is left unchanged, liver dysfunction, can be highly “addictive” from the large amounts of dopamine released while eating (dopamine is that “feel good” hormone), may contribute to obesity or general weight gain (there are many factors that lead to weight gain, consuming excess sugar is just one of them), and increases cholesterol and triglycerides (not the saturated fat as we once thought), and also a possible link to heart disease (here and here).

On the flip side, sugar can also be used strategically, especially when it comes to the world of athletes, recreational athletes (I consider myself in this category), and even with fat loss programs- it’s all about timing, combining, and frequency. I have many clients of mine on fat loss programs that allow and encourage the use of simple sugars and higher carbohydrate foods, but it’s all done with strategy and practice.

A couple of things to ask yourself when deciding what foods to purchase or eat that contain sugar is, how nutrient dense is this overall food? Example, is this a whole foods brownie recipe using maple syrup to sweeten or are these store bought brownies with triple the amount of refined sugars? The quality and quantity of the sugar used does matter. Most likely, that whole food recipe is also going to contain healthy fats, fiber, and protein, all of which are great to combine with carbohydrates in general to keep your blood sugars fairly stable. From a nutrient density standpoint, sugar is on the bottom of the chain. Rarely does sugar contain nutrients. I say rarely because there are a handful of sweeteners that contain small amounts of nutrients such as, honey and molasses being a couple.

I’ve put an asterisk* by some of my personal favorite natural/whole foods sugars to use for cooking, baking, or everyday use.


Any of the following names preceding the word “sugar” or “syrup”, is a sugar!

  • brown
  • cane
  • raw
  • beet
  • confectioners
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • malt
  • refiners 
  • rice


Most sugars contain the ending -ose or -ide

  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • lactose
  • maltose
  • galactose
  • sucrose
  • ribose
  • saccharose
  • glucose
  • monosaccharide
  • disaccharide
  • polysaccharide


These are the preferred sugars used in whole food baking and desserts, but still should be limited

  • agave (limit completely, agave is comprised of mostly fructose)
  • coconut nectar*
  • coconut sugar*
  • date sugar
  • maple sugar*
  • maple syrup*
  • honey*
  • fruit juice
  • fruit*
  • cane juice
  • molasses*
  • rice malt 
  • sorghum syrup
  • treacle 


  • erythritol
  • glycol
  • glycerin
  • iditol
  • isomalt
  • lacitol
  • maltitol
  • mannitol
  • ribotol
  • sorbitol
  • xylitol


  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame-L
  • Nutra-sweet
  • Equal
  • Saccharin
  • Splenda
  • Stevia* (can be made with fillers and other artificial sweeteners, in it’s raw form it’s not artificial- click here to make your own!)
  • Sucralose 
  • Sweetleaf
  • Sweet-n-low
  • Truvia

PRINT this Guide to Hidden Sugars in a downloadable PDF, for free! Click Guide to Hidden Sugars I hope this printable guide was helpful in deciphering the ingredient label the next time you’re out grocery shopping.

Share your thoughts

  • Kirtley a

    I recently had someone ask me about baking with xylitol, stevia, or erythritol. I’ve always used honey if I’m going to make something sweet? Are they better for you than honey? I eat whole clean foods, mostly vegetarian diet with meat from our farm sometimes. I’ve read conflicting reviews saying if you should bake with it or not and it is highly processed & artificial. I would like to make some blueberry muffins and was wondering if I could use one as a sweetener. I was wondering from a nutritionist stand point what you thought.

    • If you bake with honey, be sure to dilute it in warm water or else it sinks to the bottom and burns. I always use natural sweeteners or none at all: fruit, dried fruit, honey or maple syrup.

  • I tend to use as little stevia and sweeteners as possible, but I like sweet leaf, trader joes has their own brand I’ll use, otherwise, I just use small amounts of honey or maple syrup. I hope that helps Kelli!


See what wellness looks like #IRL

follow @nutritionstripped

Looking for something? Let's find it!

Terms & Conditions

Photography, recipe, and content Policy

All content is copyright of Nutrition Stripped and shall not be copied, replicated, or duplicated. Please be courteous, respectful, and refrain from using it as your own. You may share a recipe or image only by contacting, referring, or directly linking back to Nutrition Stripped.

Photography and Recipe Policy 
We’re extremely flattered when asked to publish NS photography on a website or blog. We ask that if you’d like to share a recipe, photography, or content, you must get permission from the team first. Please keep in mind that all written content, photography, recipes, and general writing are copyrighted materials which have been a labor of love in the production of and have worked very hard to produce it.

Nutrition Stripped policy is as follows if you want to do the following:
To promote a recipe or photograph from my site You may post one photo as long as you give a direct link back to the post where you found the photograph/material including in the content a mention of McKel Hill, MS, RD from Nutrition Stripped. You may not republish the recipe itself. To use my photography for promotion other than sharing my original works you must request permission beforehand, a simple email will do. You may not republish my recipe or multiple recipes without direct permission. We occasionally allow other websites to post my recipes; which is decided at my discretion on a case-by-case basis and mostly with those we have an agreement with for example with my blog writing contributions. Please uphold the standards of the U.S. copyright laws for recipes and mycopyright policy.


Nutrition Stripped © 2016

Privacy Policy

Personal identification information
We may collect personal identification information from Users in a variety of ways, including, but not limited to, when Users visit our site, subscribe to the newsletter, and in connection with other activities, services, features or resources we make available on our Site. Users may be asked for, as appropriate, name, email address. Users may, however, visit our Site anonymously. We will collect personal identification information from Users only if they voluntarily submit such information to us. Users can always refuse to supply personally identification information, except that it may prevent them from engaging in certain Site related activities.

Non-personal identification information
We may collect non-personal identification information about Users whenever they interact with our Site. Non-personal identification information may include the browser name, the type of computer and technical information about Users means of connection to our Site, such as the operating system and the Internet service providers utilized and other similar information.

Web browser cookies
Our Site may use “cookies” to enhance User experience. User’s web browser places cookies on their hard drive for record-keeping purposes and sometimes to track information about them. User may choose to set their web browser to refuse cookies, or to alert you when cookies are being sent. If they do so, note that some parts of the Site may not function properly.

How we use collected information
Nutrition Stripped may collect and use Users personal information for the following purposes: To improve customer service, information you provide helps us respond to your customer service requests and support needs more efficiently. To personalize user experience, we may use information in the aggregate to understand how our Users as a group use the services and resources provided on our Site. To improve our Site, we may use feedback you provide to improve our products and services. To run a promotion, contest, survey or other Site feature. To send Users information they agreed to receive about topics we think will be of interest to them. To send periodic emails, we may use the email address to respond to their inquiries, questions, and/or other requests. If User decides to opt-in to our mailing list, they will receive emails that may include company news, updates, related product or service information, etc. If at any time the User would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.

How we protect your information
We adopt appropriate data collection, storage and processing practices and security measures to protect against unauthorized access, alteration, disclosure or destruction of your personal information, username, password, transaction information and data stored on our Site. Sensitive and private data exchange between the Site and its Users happens over a SSL secured communication channel and is encrypted and protected with digital signatures.

Sharing your personal information
We do not sell, trade, or rent Users personal identification information to others. We may share generic aggregated demographic information not linked to any personal identification information regarding visitors and users with our business partners, trusted affiliates and advertisers for the purposes outlined above. We may use third party service providers to help us operate our business and the Site or administer activities on our behalf, such as sending out newsletters or surveys. We may share your information with these third parties for those limited purposes provided that you have given us your permission.

Changes to this privacy policy
Nutrition Stripped has the discretion to update this privacy policy at any time. When we do, we will revise the updated date at the bottom of this page and send you an email. We encourage Users to frequently check this page for any changes to stay informed about how we are helping to protect the personal information we collect. You acknowledge and agree that it is your responsibility to review this privacy policy periodically and become aware of modifications.

Third party links
Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g. click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you.  These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information.  To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice visit the NAI at To opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit

By using this Site, you signify your acceptance of this policy and terms of service. If you do not agree to this policy, please do not use our Site. Your continued use of the Site following the posting of changes to this policy will be deemed your acceptance of those changes. Privacy policy created by last modified on 7/31/13

We allow third party companies to serve ads and/or collect certain anonymous information when you visit our Web site.  These companies may use non-personally identifiable information (e.g. click stream information, browser type, time and date, subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over) during your visits to this and other Web sites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services likely to be of greater interest to you.  These companies typically use a cookie or third party web beacon to collect this information.  To learn more about this behavioral advertising practice visit the NAI at To opt-out of this type of advertising, you can visit

Disclosure Policy

Nutrition Stripped works with brands all over the globe that we can stand behind and that we know you’ll love too! Companies and brands will send me products to try or develop recipes with. Whenever I review or refer to a product that was provided to me, I will make it clear in the post, otherwise it is a product that I have purchased and will not necessarily mention in that post. 

Disclosure Policy
This policy is valid starting from 16 June 2013. This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Nutrition Stripped. For questions about this blog, please contact Support [at] nutritirionstripped [dot] com.

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. This blog abides by word of mouth marketing standards. We believe in honesty of relationship, opinion and identity. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

While this blog may be compensated for a review of a product or service, such compensation will never have an effect on the honest opinion that I present on this blog. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. This blog does contain content which might present a conflict of interest. This content will always be identified.

Questions? Please e-mail Support [at] nutritionstripped [dot] com or refer to the FTC’s ruling on blogger disclosure: FTC Rules on Sponsored Conversations

Release of Liability
Any item promoted/advertised/sponsored on this site that you choose to partake in is your decision and I am not liable for any problems that arise including, but not limited to: not receiving products, receiving broken or damaged goods, seeing an item you bought go on sale after you buy it, technical difficulties with sites that I link to. Furthermore, any information you submit to any external site is at your own risk.

Affiliate Discretion Notice

Nutrition Stripped is a participant of several affiliate programs which is designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking directly to sources that Nutrition Stripped genuinely likes. If you click on any of those links, which are known as “affiliate links”, and make a purchase within a certain time frame, I’ll get a small commission. The commission is paid by the third parties, not by you! Affiliate links and resources earned help support my efforts here at Nutrition Stripped, thank you!

Need help? Support

T-shirt Size Chart

Size US Sizes UK Sizes AUS Sizes
Small (S) 2-4 32-34 6-8
Medium (M) 6-10 36-40 9-13
Large (L) 10-14 40-44 13-17


No worries, just shoot us a quick email at [email protected] with SHOP in the subject and let us know what size you’re looking for and we’ll set you up!

Avocado Love t-shirt is made with super soft blend of 65% poly 35% viscose; it’s lightweight, flowy, hangs off the body and runs true to size. The boxy crop tee doesn’t show the tummy, just slightly when you raise your hands.

Matcha Matcha Matcha t-shirt is made with a durable 100% cotton blend. It runs a bit on the larger side, but shrinks an entire size due to the cotton.

Kale Made Me Do It t-shirt is made with super soft blend of 65% poly 35% viscose; it’s lightweight, flowy, hangs off the body and runs true to size. The sleeves are purposefully a little loose, hanging off the shoulders giving room to move.

Good Food Good Vibes t-shirt is made with super soft blend of 65% poly 35% viscose; it’s lightweight, flowy, hangs off the body and runs true to size. The sleeves have a deep scoop showing your side body more than a normal tank, great to show off a touch of your sports bra, lacy bra, or any tank underneath.

Each t-shirt is individually hand screen printed here in Nashville, TN by our friends Grand Palace Printing. Each design is printed multiple times to ensure quality color. A lot of love goes into making every single t-shirt, here’s how to take care of it when it gets to you:

+ Wash cold
+ Line dry or lay flat to dry to retain best color and size

Shop Support

Have questions about your order? Exchanges/returns, or just to share a testimonial of your experience with Nutrition Stripped? We’re happy to help answer any and all questions you might have. Please email us at [email protected].

Follow me on Snapchat

Send this to friend