Sugar can be sneaky. You’d expect to find it in a batch of cookies or a slice of cake, but sugar often lurks in surprising places, such as crackers, jarred sauces, and protein bars. In fact, since the FDA doesn’t require a brand to disclose the amount of added sugar in a product (beyond what’s naturally occurring), it can be complicated to figure out how to minimize sugar in your diet. We want to help! That’s why we’ve made it easy to filter items that offer 5g of sugar or less per serving (which is about 1 teaspoon).
What Is a Low-Sugar Diet?
According to the American Heart Association, American adults consume an average of 77 grams of sugar per day, which can add up to 60 pounds of the sweet stuff annually. When you’re choosing a low-sugar diet, it means you’re actively working to avoid hidden sugars. Some of the biggest culprits are sugary beverages (like energy drinks, soda, fruit juice, and flavored milks), sweetened breakfast items, frozen treats, and baked goods.
Other Names for Sugar
Sugar isn’t always easy to find listed on package ingredients—here are some of the other names for sugar.
Tips for Eating a Low-Sugar Diet
Switching to a low-sugar diet? These tips can get you started.
- Read the label: One of the best tips for a low-sugar diet is to read food labels. Once you’re familiar with all the names sugar can go by, it’ll be easier to avoid when shopping. On ThriveMarket.com, we’ve made it easy to avoid excess sugar by filtering the best low-sugar options.
- Choose fresh fruit: If you have a sweet tooth after meal times, try opting for fresh fruit, which is naturally sweet.
- Create a low-sugar pantry: It’s sometimes difficult to avoid sugar when eating out, but you can control your own kitchen by keeping high-sugar foods out of the house. Not having tempting treats within reach always makes it easier to stick with new diet goals.
Top Low-Sugar Brands
Meet our lineup of low-sugar brands that make it easier to ditch added sugar in your day-to-day.
Barbara’s Bakery is known for using wholesome ingredients like oats, rice flour, and nut butter to make its line of snacks and cereals. Many of its products are Non-GMO Project Verified, USDA Organic, and certified by the American Heart Association.
Barbara’s Bakery Multigrain Spoonfuls Cereal
It can be tough to find high-quality, low-sugar cereals. This crunchy option from Barbara’s Bakery clocks in at 5g of sugar per serving and its multigrain morsels are sweetened with molasses.
Garden of Life
Garden of Life has been formulating supplements since 1999, and continues to source its ingredients from sustainable farms. Every product is Non-GMO Project Verified, USDA Certified Organic, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan.
Garden of Life Collagen Creamer
With a rich vanilla flavor and less than 1g of sugar per serving, you can enjoy your morning cup without adding extra sugar to your favorite beverage. Garden of Life’s collagen creamer features energizing MCTs from organic coconut milk and coconuts, plus Types I and III collagen peptides.
Founded in 2003 by Zach Adelman, Navitas Organics infuses superfoods into its snacks, powders, and supplements. Navitas means “energy” in Latin, and that’s exactly what the brand wants to help you boost. No matter what you choose, Navitas products are free from pesticides, fertilizers, and GMOs.
Organic Cacao Nibs
Chocoholics will love these nibs (peeled and crumbled cacao beans) that taste like a crunchier dark chocolate chip. Sprinkle them on ice cream, add to bread or muffin batter, or just snack on a few as-is for a dose of iron, magnesium, and antioxidants.
Low-Sugar Diet Tips and Recipes
Browse the Thrive Market blog for dinner inspiration and diet tips to help you reach your health goals.
Low-Sugar Chicken Satay Recipe
Just because you’re eating a low-sugar diet doesn’t mean you have to skip out on delicious meals. The chicken is extra tender thanks to an hours-long marinade, and you can make the sunflower butter dipping sauce in advance to save you some time during the dinner rush.
Should You Try a Whole30® Diet?
If you’re interested in reducing sugar, you might enjoy the Whole30® diet, which eliminates artificial sweeteners and sugar (among other things) for 30 days. This detailed post goes over all the basics, including our favorite products and recipes.
What’s the Difference Between Paleo and Whole30® Diets?
Paleo and Whole30® diets both wave goodbye to a similar list of ingredients, but Whole30® is a short-term program while paleo is a long-term lifestyle choice (if you want it to be). Get the scoop on what makes these eating plans different, plus tips for your shopping list.