Hacks For Sugar-Free Snacking
The whole point of having snacks between meals is to regulate your blood sugar, so if you’re having high sugar snacks, that sort of defeats the purpose. A great snack gives you sustained energy, and releases that energy at a slow pace so you don’t feel a huge rush before a major crash. Unfortunately, a lot of snack foods and easy, on-the-go foods are high in sugar. We usually need snack foods to be non-perishable, which means they need to contain preservatives, which means they’ll probably contain added sugar. Finding and making sugar-free or low-sugar snacks is usually a big obstacle for those trying to cut back on sugar. It’s easy to keep main meals low on sugar, but those little things you toss in your purse or keep in your car’s center divider? Not so much. Here are tips for sugar-free snacking.
Barely ripe, non-perishable fruits
The riper a fruit becomes, the more sugar it produces (in most fruit). So think about barely ripe, non-perishable fruits for on-the-go, low-sugar snacks. Light yellow bananas, medium-ripe mango slices, and firm plums provide sustained energy without too much sugar.
If it has a long shelf life, skip it
If something has a long shelf life, it probably has a lot of sugar, or preservatives that will turn into sugar in your system. It’s best to make your own foods or find prepackaged ones with short shelf lives.
Avoid low-fat foods
When the fat is removed from something, so too is usually the flavor. To make up for this, many low-fat foods have plenty of added sugar. You’re best off having the full-fat version of something, but in small quantities. Remember that fat produces energy.
Make your own trail mix
You don’t need dried fruit or M&Ms in your trail mix. But many premade ones are loaded with these as fillers. Make your own with whole, unsalted nuts (the salted ones make you crave fruity drinks), coconut shreds, and dried cranberries (they’re the lowest-sugar dried fruit).
Stick to high fiber spread bases
Snacks rely on a lot of spreads like almond butter, hummus, and tuna salad. It’s easy to eat too many crackers and white bread when you’re eating lots of dips and spreads. Invest in some dark crackers made with chia seeds, whole grains, and flax seeds.
Try Greek yogurt with fresh berries
Greek yogurt is one of the lowest-sugar yogurts, offering plenty of filling protein and calcium. Add some raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries for flavor—they’re low in sugar and high in protein.
Put Cocoa powder in smoothies
Instead of chocolate milk, use cocoa powder to sweeten smoothies and protein shakes.
Try beet juice
If you love fresh, cold juice for a pick-me-up, try a beet-based juice. Beets are low in sugar. Blend beet juice with a little bit of cranberry and orange juice for a low-sugar juice.
Make shredded coconut date balls
Blend updates (without the pits), coconut shreds, a little bit of orange juice, and chia seeds in a blender. Form the batter into balls and you’ll have a low-sugar, high-fiber snack.
Make chocolate avocado pudding
Blend avocado, banana, and cocoa powder up for a deliciously healthy pudding, without added sugar.
Bring oatmeal packets everywhere
If you have access to hot water, then you can make a bowl of fiber-ful oatmeal, wherever you are. Add some blueberries to sweeten it.
Know your high sugar/low sugar fruits
Fruits can be a double-edged sword: some provide plenty of fiber, but they also have so much sugar that the sugar cancels out the benefits of the fiber. It’s important to know your high and low sugar fruits.
Black beans chips
Black bean chips are highly portable, non-perishable, and high in protein and fiber. Dip them in hummus, guacamole, cottage cheese, or tuna salad.
Avoid anything with the word snack
I know; it seems like a trick! But if a pre-packaged food has the word “snack” in it, it’s probably high in sugar. “Snack” usually denotes a once-whole food that’s been processed, condensed, and blended up with preservatives to make something that barely resembles that original food.
Pair dark chocolate with peanut butter
Dark chocolate and peanut butter are the perfect snack when you’re craving a treat. The peanut butter actually brings out some of the sweetness of dark chocolate, and adds protein.