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Simple Sugar-Free Swaps


We’re all about helping you find better-for-you alternatives to your favourite foods, sweet treats included. 

If you’re trying to find some quality lower sugar or sugar-free alternatives to those foods and drinks you just can’t live without, here are the ones worth getting your hands on. 

Once your taste buds adjust to less sweetness, you won’t want to go back to the sickly sweet snacks. 

 

Amazonia Peanut Butter Choc Melt Protein bar

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While protein bars are often perceived as healthy, many are packed full of added sugars! Sadly it doesn’t stop there, many also have unwanted ingredients like artificial flavours, fillers, thickeners, preservatives and more. Additives aside, another problem we see is protein bars that aren’t always nutritionally balanced. They may contain a source of protein, but what about healthy fats and fibre? Having a combination of macronutrients ensures we stay fuller for longer and makes for a more satisfying snack. Thankfully Amazonia Protein bars tick these boxes and provide a lower sugar option, using just a small amount of brown rice syrup and stevia as their sweetener of choice. Not only does their Peanut Butter Choc Melt Protein Bar sound delicious, it also holds up nutritionally.

 

Blue Dinosaur Energy Bar

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When we think of energy bars, we may think of ingredients like caffeine and/or guarana. Sometimes we forget that all food is a source of energy, it’s the fuel that keeps us going. Of course there are some foods that give us a bit more of a pep, but the right wholefoods can all contribute towards increased energy levels. Take dates for example, due to their natural sugar content, they help our body convert it to energy. An ingredient like cacao is great for our energy because it contains small amounts of caffeine and theobromine. The Blue Dinosaur Caramel Choc Chunk Energy bar features both of these ingredients, along with medicinal mushrooms which add some adaptogenic properties to the mix, helping our body adapt to stress. When choosing an energy bar, steer clear from artificial ingredients like flavours and sweeteners, additives, preservatives and high levels of caffeine.

 

Bennetto Dark Chocolate Toasted Hazelnut

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Chocolate is one of the most popular sweet treats, but did you know that a huge percentage of the chocolates in your supermarket contain artificial flavours. We’re not sure why, considering chocolate already tastes so good, but it certainly doesn’t meet our real food philosophy. Not only this, chocolate can be packed full of sugar, when choosing a chocolate bar, we recommend going for a darker variety and one using a less refined version of sugar (for example raw sugar rather than white). When you want a chocolate that tastes creamy and has none of the nasties, we recommend the Bennetto Dark Chocolate with Toasted Hazelnut - it’s mouth watering!

 

Noway Mousse

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We all love convenience and when it comes to a convenient chocolate mousse, we’ve hit a winning combo. Sadly many of the chocolate mousses out there are packed with sugar, flavours, thickeners, emulsifiers and more. For obvious reasons (like the fact they’re not real foods), these are beneficial to avoid. Thankfully, we can still enjoy a convenient chocolate mousse through the ATP Science Noway Mousse. With the base of collagen and gelatine, it’s beneficial for our gut and skin health. It’s naturally sweetened with stevia, so it doesn’t even contain bucketloads of added sugars like many others. Dessert with benefits sounds like our idea of a good time.

 

Pimp My Salad Vegan Mayo Aioli

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Sauces like aioli can make a delicious addition to a meal. We want healthy eating to taste good and we certainly don’t have to miss out on our favourite condiments. Thankfully we don’t have to, with healthier options on the market these days. However, something we want to be careful of is sauces with a heap of added sugar. Make sure you check the ingredients list to check on this. When sugar appears, it should be towards the end of the ingredients list. If it’s amongst the first few ingredients, it’s sugar filled and not ideal. Low sugar sauces can taste just as good (or even better in our opinion), try the Pimp My Salad Vegan Mayo Aioli and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

 

Vitamelon

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Energy drinks generally have intense amounts of caffeine in them, along with a ton of added sugar (or artificial sweeteners if they’re sugar free. These high levels of caffeine and sugar will leave your nervous system and blood sugar levels in disarray, we recommend steering clear for your own good. Instead of going for an energy drink, why not try the Vitamelon Watermelon drink. The small amount of naturally occurring sugar in the watermelon juice will convert to energy and leave you feeling better for it. Watermelon has a high water content, making it a hydrating option. Pair that with the carbonated water for added hydration - did you know that water and being sufficiently hydrated is also important for our energy levels? Talk about natures energy drink, and it’s completely refined sugar free.

 

Arepa

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Not only are energy drinks notoriously high in caffeine, they’re often full of sugar (or artificial sweeteners). When we want a sugar free swap but still want some of the benefits of an energy drink, we can turn to this nootropic brain drink from Arepa. It contains none of the nasty ingredients and instead features real foods.

Ingredients to watch out for in energy drinks include refined sugars and artificial ingredients like flavours and/or sweeteners. Another important ingredient to avoid is a preservative called sodium benzoate. When combined with vitamin C, sodium benzoate can turn into benzene, which may be associated with increased risk of cancer.

By utilising the power of plant extracts, fruit juice and l-theanine, Arepa brings us a host of benefits. Blackcurrants are packed with antioxidants and are said to support cognitive function, l-theanine can promote relaxation, focus and concentration, and a compound found in pine bark (enzogenol) may improve mental energy and clarity.

 

Nexba Passionfruit

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One key thing to avoid in passion fruit soda is large amounts of added sugars that send our blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster. Artificial sweeteners aren’t much better and certainly don’t meet our real food philosophy, so the zero sugar options are one to give a miss too. Similarly, other artificial ingredients like colours and flavours are things to be weary of and avoid.

Thankfully with the rise of functional fizzy drinks, we’re able to get a healthier alternative to traditional soda while still getting the same fizzy satisfaction of soft drinks. These healthier options also come with added nutritional benefits! Nexba’s Passionfruit Focus is free from added sugars and delivers the focus inducing L-Theanine, along with the antioxidant content of green tea.

 

Nibblish Pineapple

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Refined sugars are generally nutritionally void. They may taste good, but they don’t have a lot going for them. As opposed to naturally occurring sugars (like those in fruits), which come packaged up with all of the benefits of the food itself. We like to get the most out of our food, so swapping refined sugars with natural sources is a no-brainer in our eyes. The Nibblish Pineapple helps us enjoy the delicious taste and sweetness of this amazing fruit, while bringing us the antioxidant benefits and immune supportive properties that come with pineapples. Dried fruit often gets a bad rap, but simply choose one that’s made up of real food ingredients and free from added sugars and preservatives.

 

Swap Extra Gum for Nopla Gum

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Extra might be sugar-free, but that doesn’t make up for the fact that it’s full of all kinds of other ingredients we’d rather not chew on: 

  • Sorbitol and mannitol: artificial sweeteners that can have a laxative effect.

  • 'Sweetener (951)': the code name for aspartame, another artificial sweetener the body isn’t built to process.

  • A 'gum base' made with undisclosed ingredients - plastic might be one of them (Yep. We were shocked to learn that too).

If you’d rather not chew on the above either, we recommend Nopla gum. Free from sugar, artificial sweeteners and plastic, this long-lasting, all natural gum means you can have your post-coffee gum fix, without the nasties. 

Swap Sour Lollies for Funday Sweets

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New to the health food scene Funday Sweets get our tick of approval for a fun party platter because they have: 

  • No added refined sugar, AKA 'Cane Sugar', 'Glucose Syrup' and 'Invert Sugar' (your dentist will be happy about this too). 

  • No gut-upsetting sugar alcohols (e.g., mannitol, sorbitol), unlike most sugar-free lollies. These peachalicious bites are sweetened naturally with plant-based, sugar-free stevia instead.  

  • Prebiotics from tapioca and chicory root, which fuel your good gut bugs.

Fun idea: drop a couple of Sour Funday Sweets into a glass of kombucha or soda water on ice for a festive, booze-free bevvy. 

Swap Standard Golden Syrup for Lakanto Golden 'Syrup'

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It’s pretty obvious which syrup we’d choose to pour on our pancakes. We love all the sugar-free sweetener alternatives from Lakanto because they're also artificial sweetener-free. 

Swap Commercial Creamer for Tonika Co. Creamer

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Upgrade your coffee with a splash of Tonika Co. Vanilla Macadamia Creamer. We love it because it tastes like a treat, without having to rely on sugar (AKA Glucose Syrup) as the main ingredient - unlike the creamers you’ll find at the supermarket. Sweetened naturally with low sugar, plant-derived Monk Fruit Extract and Xylitol instead of refined sugar, this is one of the few coffee creamers out there that gets our tick of approval.

Swap Soft Drink for a Nexba Kombucha

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Yikes. Who else can't believe how much sugar is added to soft drinks. Save this swap if soft drinks are your thing but you want to cut back on sugar. Nexba’s Mango Kombucha helps nip that soft drink craving in the bud, but without the sugar or artificial sweetener, both of which won’t do your gut flora-compromising sugar . Not only that, it’s also free from artificial sweeteners and brewed with probiotics to promote a nice balance of good gut bugs.

 

Nibblish Cranberry

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Dried cranberries are one of those ingredients that taste delicious in both sweet and savoury dishes. Whether you’re enjoying them in your breakfast muesli or stirring them through a salad, you won’t be disappointed with the burst of natural sweetness they provide.

It’s important to avoid cranberries and other dried fruits that contain sugar and vegetable oils when choosing which one to purchase. When good quality cranberries are being used, they don’t need added sugars because they’re naturally sweet on their own. It’s better to keep it simple, the way that real food products should be. In terms of the vegetable oils, these can have inflammatory properties due to their highly refined nature. 

The Nibblish Gently Baked Cranberries are a great example of what to look for in a good dried fruit product. Containing just the cranberries and a bit of fruit juice for sweetness, we know we’re only getting the good stuff.

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