If you’re taking the No-Added-Sugar Challenge already or are currently on a low sugar diet, you may be finding it tough to buy prepared foods that don’t contain added sugars or sweeteners; and if you haven’t started the challenge yet, consider this a quick heads up.
While the best route to go while taking this challenge (or lifestyle change) is going to be prepping your own meals with whole, single-ingredient foods, we completely understand that sometimes using packaged food is necessary so to help you out with this obstacle, we’ve compiled a list of no added sugar food products that you can find at most grocery stores.
It was far harder than we thought it would be to find cereals that weren’t packed with sugar but these are the ones we came across (both dry and cooked):
Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs
Kashi Pilaf Original
Quaker Quick Oats
New World Organic Fruit Nut Muesli
Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Wheat
Arrowhead Mills Oat Bran
Nature’s Path Qi’a Superfood – Chia, Buckwheat & Hemp Cereal (Original and Apple Cinnamon)
Nature’s Path Corn Puffs
Just because you’re buying bread that contains 180 different types of grain in it, doesn’t mean you’ve dodged a sweet bullet; in fact, the majority of breads we checked out had sugar in one form or another listed as one of the first five ingredients so check those labels carefully.
Silver Hills Squirrelly Bread
Silver Hills Stead Eddie Bread
Dempsters Say No to Fat & Sugar Bread
Manna Breads by Nature’s Path (all types)
Landsberg Muesli Bread
Crackers and Snacks
Crackers and crisp breads are perfect to pair with avocado, fruit or cheese to make a quick snack when you need a little boost – find great snack ideas from both the Wasa and Ryvita websites.
Wasa Original Crispbread (most types – watch out for barley malt extract in the ingredients list)
Ryvita Crispbread (most types)
Whole Foods 365 Baked Woven Wheats
Kavli (most types)
Stoned Wheat Thins
Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies
Jam and Jelly
When you buy a “jam”, you’re quite literally buying whole fruit that has been stewed down in a mixture of water and sugar. As an alternative, look for a “fruit spread” that advertises that there’s no added sugar.
Vermont Country Store Fruit Spread
Polaner All Fruit Spread
Yes, it can be a bit annoying to mix the separated oil back into natural peanut butters but any nut butter that doesn’t do this is highly likely to contain added ingredients, including sugar, so opt for single-ingredient butters.
Adams Natural Peanut Butter
Krema Natural Peanut Butter
Smuckers Natural Peanut Butter
Tip: store the peanut butter upside down in the fridge to lessen the amount of oil separation.
Condiments, Dips and Sauces
Kirkland Marinara Pasta Sauce
Salpica Rustic Tomato Salsa
Drew’s Thick and Chunky Salsa (most types)
Dressings and Vinaigrettes
The best brands for you to look at in this category would be Annie’s and Drew’s. We’ve listed a few of the options below but they likely offer more:
Annie’s Shitake and Sesame Dressing
Annie’s Red Wine and Olive Oil Vinaigrette
Annie’s Green Garlic Dressing
Whole Foods Italian Vinaigrette
Drew’s Roasted Garlic and Peppercorn Dressing and Marinade
Drew’s Lemon Goodness Dressing
Renee’s Gourmet Creamy Asiago
Most plain dairy products don’t add sugar to the mix so if you’re buying regular, low-fat varieties, you should be fine – the challenges are going to come when you try and buy mixes such as fruit yogurts, flavoured milks and specialty cheeses.
Liberte Plain Greek Yogurt
Silk Unsweetened Soy Milk
Silk Unsweetened Almond Milk
Most regular milk
Most plain cheeses
Soups and Broths
Imagine Organic Vegetable Broth
The best option here is to just stick with good old-fashioned water but if you do have a craving for something a little more taste-inducing, try infusing your water (find some great spa water recipes here), blending your own smoothies, or trying these products:
Tropicana Orange Juice
A very common assumption is that alcoholic drinks contain a lot of sugar…and that’s because they do; however, most un-mixed alcohols contain only the sugar that is found naturally in their whole ingredients so no need to drop out of the challenge if you enjoy the occasional drink.
The fructose found in wine is naturally occurring in the grapes that are used so it’s not an added sweetener. These sugars end up fermenting to become alcohol, which ends up leaving wine quite low in sugar content, with red wines being lower in fructose than white wines; dessert wines are still pretty high though so you may want to avoid those.
The sugar in beer is maltose, which, while still natural, is quite high on the glycemic index so you’ll want to watch your consumption.
Spirits like vodka, gin and whiskey are low in fructose when they are un-mixed and un-flavoured but that can change very quickly as soon as you start putting your spirits into cocktails.
With that being said, we do have a few disclaimers:
1) Be careful about what you’re mixing your drinks with
Only drink spirits with water, club soda or on ice as most mixers (both pops and fruit juices) will contain high concentrations of added sugar (tonic water is terrible for this).
2) Try to cut back on the bevies altogether
Your liver is already going to be thrown off by this change in diet so you don’t want to stress it much more throughout this time. Plus, this is a chance to really clean up your food habits so try and carry that over into your beverage consumption.
3) Low in fructose doesn’t mean low in calories
Alcohol still contains lots of empty calories so don’t confuse low sugar with being good for your waistline in this case.
Know of more products that weren’t listed? Let us know! Leave a comment below to share your sugarless finds.