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Reading labels - different names for fats, salt and sugars

Identifying fats, salt, sugars

Knowing what the ingredients are in your food is helpful in making healthy choices, which is especially important for people with conditions such as diabetes. Fats come in different types, with general advice being to avoid or consume only small quantities of saturated fats and trans fatty acids. Salt has several names, and sugar has many different presentations.

Monounsaturated fats:

  • canola oil
  • peanut oil
  • avocado oil
  • olive oil.

Saturated fats and Trans fatty acids:

  • animal fat/oil
  • Kremelta
  • baking margarine
  • hydrogenated fat
  • butter fat
  • lard
  • milk solids
  • copha
  • palm oil
  • dripping
  • shortening
  • coconut oil
  • coconut cream/coconut milk
  • chocolate
  • cocoa butter
  • cream.

Also see: High blood cholesterol

Polyunsaturated fats:

  • soybean oil
  • safflower oil
  • corn oil
  • sunflower oil
  • grape seed oil.


  • sodium
  • rock salt
  • monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • sea salt.

Also see: High blood pressure


  • brown sugar
  • corn syrup
  • dextrose
  • disaccharides
  • fructose
  • glucose
  • golden syrup
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • lactose
  • malt extract
  • maltose
  • molasses
  • monosaccharides
  • raw sugar
  • sucrose.

For more information about food and diabetes, see the Diabetes New Zealand website (details below under 'Further Information and Support').

Original material provided by Diabetes New Zealand, 2008. Edited by everybody, August 2011.

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