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Affordable Alternatives 

Aside from not realizing that sugar is in so many of the foods we eat, another barrier to avoiding it is price. In the US, despite taxes on sugar, healthy and whole foods tend to be more expensive than unhealthy processed foods. This page shares some affordable alternatives to common sources of added sugar.

Bread 

White bread is unhealthy due to its refined flour and added sugar. Consuming too much of it can lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Other types of bread, however, can be healthy – including whole-grain bread, Ezekiel bread, and rye bread. Bread from whole or sprouted grains contains essential nutrients, including protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

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Candy

If you have a sweet tooth and are craving a piece of candy, try to veer away from those made with pure sugar that have no nutritional value or protein content. Snickers bars contain nuts, that contain protein, that will keep you satisfied – opposed to something like candy corn, which won’t touch your hunger at all. Blow Pops contain less sugar than other candies, and the gum in the middle makes them last longer.

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Cereal

Some cereals can be misleading as to how healthy they are – so you want to make sure you check the nutrition label. You don’t have to eliminate your favorite cereals from your diet, but remember moderation is key. Some of them are more like desserts than breakfasts!

Coffee Creamer

Many people use creamers in their coffee, but are unaware that many contain a lot of added sugar. Coffee Mate and similar creamer brands are filled with hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, preservatives, and flavors that can be extremely bad for you, which is why it’s banned in many countries. Using unsweetened, more natural creamers, such as Oat Creamer, or simply whole milk, are much healthier alternatives. If you’re craving flavor, buy flavored syrup and add it yourself – at least then you know how much you’re having, and many syrups come in sugar-free versions.

Pasta Sauce

Pre-made pasta sauce tends to be loaded with extra salt and sugar, both for taste, and to extend its shelf life. A cheap and healthy alternative is to simply make your own! Passata, canned tomatoes, or chopped tomatoes, with some added herbs and spices is a fresher, tastier way to coat your pasta.

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Soda

Soda contains zero nutritional value; and has been linked to obesity, Type II diabetes, heart and kidney disease, and more. It’s easy to overdrink, because it tastes great, and also makes us hungrier because it spikes and then crashes our blood sugar! Wherever you can, switch to a flavored seltzer. Along with having nearly 0 calories, and being a much healthier option, seltzer is the same cost – if not less – than soda. 

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Yogurt

Yogurt is yet another item that often sells itself as healthy, but is full of added sugar! It is important to check the nutrition label before buying. Added sugar can drastically change yogurt from being a great place to find vitamins, probiotics and proteins to being more like a dessert, similar to cereal. We think the cheapest and best alternative is to buy large tubs of natural, unsweetened yogurt – like Fage – which are much better value for money than small individual yogurts. You can add your own flavorings using fruit, jelly, or syrups. This way, as with coffee, you’re in control of exactly how much sugar you’re consuming.

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