Sugar addiction is real. The more we eat it, the more our body craves. Sugar is sneaky and often finds its way into bread, sauces and other processed foods, then you have the more blatant sources like cakes, cookies and cereals. While seemingly daunting, the longer the body goes without bad forms of sugar like High Fructose Corn Syrup, our tastes will readjust. Finding the right sources for sweetness is highly important. Natural is always best, as artificial sweeteners like sucralose just make cravings worse. Keep reading to discover foods with natural forms of sugar, that can help guide you away from the bad stuff.
Quinn is best known for making healthy microwave popcorn, and the best pretzels in the world, which also happen to be gluten free. The secret is, partially, hearty sorghum flour. Aside from honey, deli style and classic flavors, there are chocolate peanut butter filled pretzels that only have 3 grams of sugar per serving! You’d never guess by the sweet taste.
Skinny Dipped Almonds have a much thinner layer of chocolate on the exterior than the typical chocolate dipped nut. This greatly reduces calorie and sugar count. A dusting of espresso, raspberry or even peanut butter powder is added to each flavor. Each almond is perfectly roasted and pairs perfectly with the slight sweetness.
Four Sigmatic is a type of coffee made from mushrooms. Don’t judge before you try it—mushrooms were used during war times to make coffee, when beans were scarce. Mushrooms are loaded with health benefits and anti inflammatory properties. Four Sigmatic goes beyond coffee, creating chocolatey bedtime beverages, chai lattes and more. The Cacao drink is easily mixed with water, and then sweetened with coconut sugar and stevia. While being rich and comforting, there’s only 2 grams of sugar.
SmartSweets are made with a type of fiber, which gives them the beloved squishy texture of traditional gummy bears, Swedish fish, peach rings and Sour Patch Kids. The most recently released item are Starburst-esque fruit chews. These candies only contain three grams of sugar—per bag! Hard to believe, especially when those tasty bits of goodness hit the taste buds. One bag is incredibly satisfying.
Heavenly Organic Mint Chocolate Honey Patties are made with the most simplest of ingredients, real Himalayan honey, peppermint oil and antioxidant rich dark chocolate. Real sweetness doesn’t induce a ravenous need for all things sweet, like high fructose corn syrup or refined table sugar. These thin patties are perfection, and taste a lot like a York candy, but so much better.
Kind Bars are the ultimate candy bar replacement. The nutty versions only have 5 grams of sugar, but you’ll feel like you ate a snickers. Kind Bars come in more granola type forms as well which have good ingredients, but lore sugar. The cinnamon pecan and basic peanut butter both are reminiscent of something super indulgent, but will actually nourish the body.
Cow’s milk actually has a lot of sugar—one cup of 1% can add up to 13 grams of sugar to your already sugary morning cereal. When you’re used to the taste of dairy milk, it can be hard to shift, but plant based milks have made strides. Milkadamia has the best macadamia milk—it’s creamy, rich and well balanced. Elmhurst’s walnut milk almost has hints of maple, while lacking watery consistency of almond milk. Hazelnut, oat, coconut and even pea milk are all great replacements—there’s bound to be one that suits your tastes. Be sure to buy unsweetened options, and consider adding a sprinkle of sea salt for best flavor.
Maxine’s Heavenly might make the only cookies that are satisfying enough to convince folks to stop at just one. Rich, soft cookies, from chocolate chunk, peanut butter chocolate to oatmeal raisin, are made with dense, gluten free ingredients. The coconut sugar and dates add that glycemic stable sweetness that won’t leave you unnaturally teeming for more.
Lakanto is a brand creating all kinds of sweeteners, from their classic granulated sugar replacement that is perfect sprinkled over oatmeal, or baked, measure for measure, into cookies. But their maple syrup is mind blowing. Completely naturally and coming in with just one net carb, it’s considered keto friendly and low glycemic. Waffles and pancakes just got way less sugary!
Swerve also makes different types of no sugar, natural sweeteners that are game changers when it comes to cooking. Baking mixes, from cookies to cake, can be found either online on sites like Thrive Market, or on grocery store shelves. But the product that takes the cake is the brown “sugar”, which has the sticky texture of the real thing, and is equally amazing used as a coffee mix in, addition to marinades or just a sweet topping.
Cereal is addicting, because many variations have A LOT of sugar. One cup of Lucky Charms has 12 grams of sugar, which is modest in comparison to the 8 grams found in just 1/4 cup of Nature Valley’s Crunchy Oats and Dark Chocolate. Purely Elizabeth is one of the many brands to craft grain free granola, with nuts, seeds and low glycemic sweetener sources like coconut sugar. The banana nut butter flavor is delicious, only has 5 grams of natural, and less blood glucose spiking sugar, in 1/3 of a cup. Paleo granola in general is a more satisfying, lower carb, less sugary option. Always read the labels though.
PUR gum comes in a lot flavors, from peppermint, traditional bubble gum, to chocolate. It’s natural, but is sweetened with xylitol, which can be very dangerous to dogs as it causes rapid blood sugar drops and possible liver issues. So store it in a pup proof place. But xylitol is satisfying, and good for protecting teeth.