A sweetener by any other name

As I’ve been eating SCD I’ve become an avid label reader. I’ve been surprised at times by the number of names and forms that sweeteners take. I won’t make any claims that this is a complete list, but it should at least give you an idea of the large spectrum of sweeteners. As this list consists almost entirely of sweeteners not allowed on the SCD, I’ve elected not to include honey to avoid unnecessary confusion.

What have I missed? Do I need correction? Let me know in the comments.

Refined sugars (definition):

  • agave syrup
  • barley malt syrup
  • birch syrup
  • brown rice malt syrup
  • brown rice syrup
  • brown sugar e.g. Sucanet™
  • carob molasses
  • caster (castor) sugar
  • coconut sap sugar a.k.a. palm sugar, coconut crystals
  • corn syrup e.g. Karo™
  • date sugar – see my conversation with Nitasia below for more info.
  • date syrup
  • evaporated beet juice a.k.a. sugar
  • evaporated cane juice a.k.a. sugar
  • high fructose corn syrup a.k.a. isoglucose, glucose-fructose, HFCS, HFCS-42, HFCS-55, HFCS-90.
  • isoglucose a.k.a. high fructose corn syrup
  • lucuma powder – similar to date sugar in process, but made from the lucuma fruit
  • maple syrup
  • molasses (can kill in large quantities)
  • palm sugar
  • powdered sugar a.k.a confectioner’s sugar, icing sugar
  • rapadura a.k.a. panela, refined from sugar cane
  • raw sugar a.k.a. demerara, muscovado, turbinado
  • stevia (note) a.k.a. sweetleaf, sugarleaf, rebiana, e.g. Truvia™, PrueVia™
  • sugar a.k.a. white sugar, table sugar, evaporated cane juice, coffee sugar, sucrose, evaporated beet juice.
  • sweet sorghum syrup
  • yacón syrup

Sugars I’m unsure of:

  • Apple Cider Molasses (see comment below, my conversation with Nicole in November of 2010)

Sugar alcohols (definition):

  • arabitol
  • erythritol
  • glycerol 1
  • HSH (Hydrogenated starch hydrosylate)
  • isomalt
  • lactitol
  • maltitol
  • mannitol
  • sorbitol
  • xylitol

Naturally occurring sugars 2:

  • dextrose 3
  • fructose
  • galactose
  • glucose
  • inulin 4
  • lactose
  • maltose
  • sucrose
  • tagatose (derived from milk, not plants)
  • trehalose
  • xylose

Artificial sweeteners (definition):

  • acesulfame potassium e.g. Sunett™, Sweet One™
  • aspartame e.g. Equal™, NutraSweet™, Canderel™
  • cyclamate (allowed on SCD) e.g. Assugrin™, Sucaryl™, Sugar Twin™
  • fructooligosaccharides (FOS) a.k.a. oligofructose, oligofructan
  • neotame
  • saccharin a.k.a sodium saccharin (allowed on SCD) e.g. Sweet’n Low™. The little pink packets so commonly found contain illegals. The liquid forms are less likely to contain illegals.
  • sucralose e.g. Splenda™

Just a few International names:

  • baker’s special – India
  • blanco directo – India, South Asian
  • cane syrup – India
  • castor sugar – India
  • dibis – Arabic?
  • dibs – Arabic
  • fancy molasses a.k.a treacle -UK, India
  • golden syrup – India
  • Gur – India
  • harnup pekmezi – Turkish
  • invert syrup – India
  • jaggery  – India
  • jallab – Middle East
  • keçiboynuzu pekmezi – Turkish
  • muscovado sugar – India
  • panela – Latin America
  • panocha- Latin America
  • pão-de-açúcar – Latin America
  • pekmez – Turkish
  • pile – Latin America
  • piloncillo – Latin America
  • pingbian tang – China
  • stevia as known in various countries
  • sugar as known in various countries
  • treacle a.k.a fancy molasses – UK, India


(1) Wikipedia says that the FDA classifies glycerol as a sugar alcohol, but the BTVC legal/illegal list contradicts. [return]

(2) Naturally occurring sugars refer to the sugars made by plants, not the ones refined by human. For example, fructose in a fresh apple is allowed on the SCD, but fructose as a food additive is not. [return]

(3) SCD allows dextrose in iodized salt, but not otherwise. [return]

(4) Inulin is generally disallowed on the SCD as it is considered a Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), which is a polysaccharide. Inulin is found in several plants however, some of which are allowed on the SCD – most notably onion and garlic. [return]

Bookmark and Share


54 Responses to “A sweetener by any other name”

  1. 1 Susan August 11, 2009 at 11:43 am

    Good LORD.

    Thanks for the list!


  2. 3 Karen August 11, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    This was very helpful to me as I am still finding hidden sugar in places (my herbal supplement for example) after 5 months of being on SCD. FRUSTRATING! Thanks for the informative post.

  3. 5 Jodi September 19, 2009 at 7:06 am

    Hi Paul,

    I read your blog all the time.. I never comment.
    I have to say this is one of the best and most comprehensive posts in all of my time on the SCD. Very thorough!

    Thank you so much for this. It is invaluable!
    I am going to send my non SCD peeps to view this atrocity.

    at the thought as to what is in our food supply!


  4. 7 Brenda October 6, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Hi Paul,

    This is a very comprehensive list, but I think that I may have found 1 you didn’t list. It’s coconut sap sugar which is sometimes listed as palm sugar but is actually taken from the sap of young buds of coconut stems. It is has a low glycemic index and is being touted as healthier than agave. I don’t know about it chemical properties, but since so many sweetners don’t comply with the SCD, I would say illegal. Was that a lucky guess?


    Here’s a link to one brand:


    • 8 Paul Stocker October 7, 2009 at 11:54 am

      Hey Brenda,

      Thanks for the note. I’ve added it to the list. I agree that it is illegal simply by the fact that it is refined in the same manner as ordinary sugar or maple syrup.


      • 9 Paul Stocker November 15, 2011 at 6:36 am

        Follow up regarding coconut sap sugar: This manufacturer helpfully lists the sugars breakdown in their product. They show their coconut sap sugar as being comprised of more than 80% sucrose. Since sucrose is a disaccharide, this kind of sugar is clearly not SCD legal.

  5. 10 Xan November 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for this incredible list.

    I have just started the SCD and have been trying to research agave syrup’s composition. I keep finding different descriptions of what is made of – do you know anything about its molecular structure. Is it considered and FOS?

    Thanks ,

    • 11 Paul Stocker November 19, 2009 at 10:36 am


      I tend to look at wikipedia when I’m trying to learn about something. Wikipedia’s entry on agave says that the syrup produced from the agave plant is “…a complex form of fructose called inulin…”. Inulin rang a bell for me so I looked it up on the BTVC official website and found this post that states that inulin is indeed an FOS.


  6. 12 Nitasia January 7, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Hi, thanks for your sugars list, very informative.
    My question is, do you know why date sugar is illegal? Dates are legal, so I am wondering why date sugar is?
    If you know, thanks for your reply,

    • 13 Paul Stocker January 7, 2010 at 4:43 pm


      You’re welcome.

      I found a couple of different definitions for date sugar. On wiseGeek, they defined it simply as “very finely chopped dry dates”. Wikipedia, in describing the food uses for the date palm fruit ambiguously describes date sugar as “processed”. I suspect that Elaine would caution against very finely chopped dry dates as the drying alone would concentrate the sugars they contain. When you consider that dried fruits are considered advanced, this would make sense.

      The most authoritative explanation comes from the SCD knowledge base on the BTVC website. My reading of these articles tell me that if the dates are refined to make sugar that you would be well advised to avoid it. However, if you simply ground up some whole, legal dates for your uses, you would probably be okay. As always be cautious.


  7. 14 lucyric February 5, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Thank you for this exhaustive list.

    I did not see Sweet N Low, in the pink packets.

    I have using it in my coffee, with coconut milk, and almost enjoy it.
    Its better than nothing, right? Anyway, do you know if its ok.

    BTW, I saw somewhere that liquid saccharin is SCD legal, but I haven’t found it anywhere. Have you heard about this?


  8. 16 Nicole November 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Hello Paul.

    Thanks for the list. It sadly answered my question about coconut crystals. What do you think about Apple Cider Molasses – only ingredient is apple cider?

    See: http://www.redjacketorchards.com/pages/documents/rjoapplecidermolassesbrochure-2009.pdf

    Thank you.

    • 17 Paul Stocker November 30, 2010 at 9:44 am


      I was unable to reach a definitive answer. Let’s start with the assumption that the “molasses” in question is strictly condensed apple cider. If there are other ingredients they would probably disqualify it. I put molasses in quotes because it is not molasses in the traditional sense of a byproduct of table sugar production. As you are aware, pure apple cider is allowed, but it must be diluted 50/50 with water. The apple cider molasses is highly condensed apple cider, meaning most of the water is removed. This makes me think that if it were legal, you should go easy with it.

      Here’s another question I have: Is if the fructose in the cider, a monosaccharide, converted to a polysaccharide in the process of making molasses? My guess would be no, but I’m no chemist. If this were converted, it would be considered to be illegal.

      In conclusion, it may or may not be legal so the safest option is to not use it. “When in doubt, leave it out.” However, if you do choose to use it, I urge you to track it in your journal and monitor carefully for adverse reactions. Remember that reactions can take many days to show themselves.


  9. 18 Nancy Harrington July 27, 2011 at 7:32 am

    The SCD has changed my life. I have used saccharin for my sweetener, but recently my food store has discontinued it. I see that stevia is not allowed, but what about Truvia? I can’t find info on the ingredients: erythritol and rebiano. Your list is very helpful. Thank you, Nancy

    • 19 Paul Stocker July 27, 2011 at 8:05 am


      Truvia is just a commercial name for Stevia. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol and rebiano is a trade name for high purity rebaudioside A, a steviol glycoside. It’s all illegal stuff.


  10. 20 Dixie April 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    I was looking googling to find out what is “rebiana” (stevia) and thanks to your site I found the answer – thank you! I am not scientific minded so I don’t understand the jargon about sugars. I do know that I want to eat “natural” & “healthy” sugars in limited quantities (moderation). I have had cancer and cancer feeds on sugars! What do you think about stevia & erythritol (product called “zero”) as far as “health” goes?

    I would not use cancer causing artificial sugars like aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, or other unnatural sugar alternatives. Thank you!

  11. 22 Joan December 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Paul:
    So when you want to sweeten something, what is legal on the SCD. I’m thinking honey is the only thing. Anything else, im missing.

  12. 24 Morris January 23, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Thank you for theinformative info
    u am looking for sacharin but i cant find it do you know maybe wher i can get it in the ny metropolitan are ? also i have a sugar substitute in a tablet form the ingredients are Sodium Sacharin, Furmatic Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Would you know if this is leagal
    Thank You

  13. 29 Kerin Norris May 5, 2013 at 12:40 am

    Hi Paul, I am trying to work out if Rapadura Sugar is allowed, I cannot find it mentioned in the book but it is a newer type of sugar that is not heat treated and there is conflicting advice regarding the SCD on the net about it. I have found this link that shows the properties

    Click to access Rapadura%20Specs.pdf

    Rapadura is the pure juice extracted from the sugar cane (using a press), which is then evaporated over low heats, whilst being stirred with paddles, then seive ground to produce a grainy sugar. It has not been cooked at high heats, and spun to change it into crystals, and the molasses has not been separated from the sugar. It is produced organically, and does not contain chemicals or anti-caking agents.
    Thank you so much for your time in reading and answering this for me
    Regards Kerin

  14. 33 Renee July 24, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Hmmm, my new thyroid med has Inulin as a filler and I see you mentioned that as an illegal on the SCD. Since a tiny bit of sugar is allowed in regular table salt (although I use legal sea salt instead) do you think a tiny amount of inulin would be a problem gut-wise on the SCD?

    • 34 Paul Stocker July 25, 2013 at 10:43 am


      Maybe. Maybe not.

      You could either avoid the illegals by getting your new med custom compounded without the inulin which would incur more hassle and expensive or just use what you’ve got. If your piece of mind is your highest priority, go for the custom compounded med. If you’re game for added risk, use the inulin-ed med. If you take the potentially riskier route, be sure to carefully journal everything so that you can detect if it has negative effects on you.

      Remember that sometimes those tiny little bits like the dextrose in your salt and inulin in your meds can add up to something.


  15. 36 shannonsgold March 15, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Thank you so much for compiling this list! The most comprehensive I have found. It will make life better and easier for so many people.

  16. 38 shannonsgold March 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    To sweeten can I use soaked dates, almond butter (just almonds), some of the soaked date water, and blend that into a mush in my food processor? What about homemade applesauce. The only thing added is cinnamon.
    Thank you

  17. 41 rachaelelisa January 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Thanks for this informative post! Exactly what I was looking for, I’ve just started the SCD diet and sweeteners are already catching me out.

    Ray x

  18. 43 SusieT May 25, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Paul, I have feeling I’m missing important part of the chemistry involved in the SCD diet. I will take some legal spiced apple cider and reduce it down to a thickish liquid then add it to my bananacake recipe for a little extra spice and sweetness. Am I “refining” it? Changing the nature of the fructose by heating it and making it illegal somehow? Thanks in advance! Susie

    • 44 Paul Stocker May 26, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Hi Susie,

      Yes, you are refining it in the sense that you are reducing the volume of the cider, but retaining the sugars. It wouldn’t change the legality of it, but it would make it pack a bigger sugar punch per ounce.


  19. 45 Dan February 18, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    What about coconut nectar?

  20. 47 Nitasia Timms March 9, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Hi, and thanks for your helpful list and help with all the replies. Do you know about Norbu made with monk fruit and erythritol? I’m assuming it is illegal? Thanks for your reply!

  21. 49 Linda March 10, 2016 at 11:21 am

    We have followed the SCD for about 8 years. I have recently had trouble finding liquid saccharine, so I did some searching and found this company that will sell it directly: http://www.fasweet.com/

    I bought a whole case of it.

  22. 51 judy spedale February 21, 2018 at 9:19 am

    Great list, someone asked about monk fruit with erythritol, which is illegal because of the sugar alcohol erythritol, what about pure monk fruit, I think it’s a peptide and not a sugar. Thanks

    • 52 Paul Stocker February 21, 2018 at 9:30 am


      Sorry, I don’t know. If you are talking about a refined product, I imagine that it would be illegal. If you’re asking about the unprocessed fruit, I still don’t know, but imagine maybe it could be legal.


  23. 53 Ellen December 13, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    What about monk fruit sweetener?

    • 54 Paul Stocker December 15, 2018 at 11:18 am


      Monk fruit itself, I don’t know, but in my research all the products I found had adjunct ingredients that are illegal like dextrose or erythritol which is a sugar alcohol.
      I would advise you to avoid it. As Elaine said, “when it doubt, leave it out”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Your address will not be shared with any other parties.

What I'm Eating

%d bloggers like this: