No Added Sugar or Sweeteners
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If you’ve got a sweet tooth, finding the strength to limit your sugar intake can be tough. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that the typical American gets 15 percent of the calories in their diet from added sugars alone. Unfortunately, eating sugar in excess can increase your risk for health conditions like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and dental issues. Thankfully, there are many easy swaps and smart choices you can make throughout the week to help keep your sugar cravings in check and boost your overall wellness. One quick fix? Shopping products without added sugar or sweeteners. Here’s a closer look at what it actually means when you see this claim on product labels, and how it can help guide your shopping selections.
What Is No Added Sugar or Sweeteners?
According to the FDA, products labeled as “no added sugar or sweeteners” may contain naturally occuring sugars (often found in fruits, some vegetables, and even some dairy products), but these products cannot be further sweetened with any sugar-containing ingredient. These products also can’t contain artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols.
What Is the Difference Between No Added Sugar and Sugar Free?
It may seem like “no added sugar” and “sugar free” are one and the same, but these two claims differ slightly. For a food to be labeled as “sugar free,” FDA guidelines require that it contain less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving (counting ingredients that naturally contain sugar). On the other hand, foods labeled “no added sugar” may include ingredients with naturally occuring sugars and may exceed 0.5 grams of sugar per serving.
Tips for Avoiding Added Sugar or Sweeteners
Cutting down on added sugar isn’t tough to do with mindful shopping and a few simple pantry swaps. Here are some quick tips for limiting your weekly sugar intake:
- Read labels. This may seem like a no-brainer, but pay close attention to product labels. Added sugar isn’t always explicitly labeled. For example, it might be listed as “evaporated cane juice.” Be sure to use the “No Added Sugar or Sweeteners” filter when shopping Thrive Market.
- Choose beverages wisely. Swap out soda or sugary juices for sparkling water or iced tea.
- Opt for sweets that grow on trees. Add a handful of berries to your oatmeal instead of a spoonful of sugar.
- Make mindful swaps. When baking, try switching out sugar for vanilla extract, almond extract, or applesauce (depending on the recipe) for flavor and sweetness.
Top No Added Sugar or Sweeteners Brands
Skip the added sugar and stock up on these naturally delicious favorites.
As one of the largest lines of organic, whole grain foods in the country, Bob’s Red Mill is dedicated to producing healthy, nutrient-rich food staples without added sugars, preservatives, or GMOs.
No processed grains or added sugar here! This whole grain oat flour has a subtle sweet flavor since it’s made from pure oats.
Larabars are naturally sweet and crafted from just a handful of plant-based ingredients (including nuts and dried fruit). Even better, each bar is sulfite-free, non-GMO, and Fair Trade certified.
This simply sweet treat is made from just dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, and extra virgin olive oil and free of added sugar or artificial flavors.
This beloved baby food brand was founded on the belief that children deserve the most wholesome nutrition from their very first bite. Each product encourages adventurous eating through a wide variety of flavors and organic ingredients.
Created for babies 6 months old and up, this healthy blend, which is gently cooked to preserve nutrients, is loaded with greens thanks to spinach and peas and includes a touch of pear for natural sweetness.
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