Whether you’ve gone completely sugar-free or you’re simply cutting back on sugars in your diet, navigating snacks to find ones free of added sweeteners can be tricky. Often labels say “no sugar added,” yet the ingredient list includes agave, maple syrup, coconut sugar or other sweeteners. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you want to cut back on sugar, the less sweeteners you eat, the better.
“Overall, the less sugar the better. So if you’re comparing a food product and one has added sugars and the other does not, I’d go with the one without the added sugar as a general rule of thumb,” says Crystal Cascio, RDN. “And even if a products says it has no added sugars, we still need to put on our detective hats and use our label-reading savvy to determine if its really a healthful product.”
READ MORE > 6 SUGAR ALTERNATIVES TO SATISFY YOUR SWEET TOOTH
The snacks below have no added sweeteners, unless you count dates, which provide fiber to help keep you full. And they’re all delicious, too. Next time you want a no-sugar-added sweet bite, try one of these:
This vegan, date-based bar also has almond butter, cranberries, coconut, hemp protein and powdered vegetables for natural vitamins and minerals and a good dose of fiber (6 grams) and protein (8 grams). It’s more caloric than other bars, but it satiates for hours, so this might be enough for a breakfast, depending on your needs.
2. LAVVA YOGURT
This dairy-free, plant-based yogurt is made from coconut, plantains and pili nuts — rich, buttery tree nuts with vitamins and minerals. It’s thick and creamy without using added gums — something not all non-milk yogurts can boast.
The cashew cookie flavor doesn’t get much simpler: It’s just cashews and dates. “The less ingredients, the better, plus the ingredients are whole foods versus processed food-like ingredients,” Cascio says. Other flavors tend to have less than six ingredients and no added sugars — as long as you steer clear of bars with chocolate chips.
Another two-ingredient, whole-food snack, this is just bananas and unsweetened cocoa powder, yet these chips taste like dessert. Bare Snacks bakes the bananas rather than frying, so they’re satisfyingly crunchy yet fat-free, unlike most banana chips. A serving provides as much fiber as a medium banana.
5. KUR BAR
These bars with a Scandinavian heritage come in three flavors: cacao mint, coconut cashew and brownie. Each starts with a date-base and then adds nuts, nut butter and natural flavorings such as cinnamon. Plus they’re snack size, coming in at 90–110 calories a pop.
6. NAKD BAR
Another overseas import, this British bar comes in a slew of flavors, each providing a full serving of fruit thanks to dates. Nuts add a little fiber and protein for a nice between-meal bite.
7. RBAR ENERGY
Most RBars have only 3–4 ingredients, and, at most, a bar has six ingredients. No matter the number, the ingredients are primarily (if not exclusively) fruit and nuts. Each flavor is made in small batches and free of gluten, dairy and soy. Keep in mind that the honey-nut, of course, has honey.