Even the healthiest person in your office struggles with choosing a sugar free snack when midday hunger strikes. Sure, it’s obvious to resist no-no’s like potato chips or gummy bears. But some “healthy snacks” contain added sugar. It’s true that replacing Oreos with a plate of apples and peanut butter is a step in the right direction, but some peanut butters have enough sugar to match a couple of Oreos.
If you’re trying to cut down on sugar, we’ve gathered a list of sugary snacks to avoid and sugar free snacks that are still tasty. Feel free to pass these suggestions along to your office manager to add to the next snack order.
Sugary Snacks to Skip
Chocolate Chip Cookies A familiar nemesis – the very tempting miniature bag of chocolate chip cookies. It’s just a small bag, you tell yourself. Nope! Put the Famous Amos cookies down. Or better yet, turn the package around and scope the ingredients. Chocolate chips aren’t really the problem because semisweet chocolate is low in sugar and dairy-free (it even promotes cardiovascular health in small portions). It’s the cookies’ added sugar and molasses that raise most cookie bags up to 18 grams of sugar.
Ah, the childhood snack we were raised to love. Whether you pair it with bananas and toast, apples, or celery and raisins, it’s still always delicious. But some peanut butter brands add too much sugar for comfort; up to 11 grams per serving. Make sure to check the label before you indulge in that nostalgic afternoon snack.
Jerky and Meat Sticks
Depending on the maker and the flavor, jerky can contain brown sugar, cane sugar, honey, fruit juices, or other forms of added sugar that add up to an average of 2 or 3 grams of sugar in each serving. Check the label and strive for a package that contains less than 5 grams of sugar.
Traditional yogurt has a ton of health benefits like protein, potassium, and calcium. But some yogurt cups contain more sugar than a Twinkie — sometimes up to 30 grams. Yikes! (If that’s the case, we’ll take the Twinkie please.) Remind yourself to be mindful of the fruit flavored yogurts, and always check the label for sugar per serving.
Sugar Free and Low Sugar Snacks
Compared to the fruity yogurts calling your name, Greek yogurt is always a safe bet. Greek yogurt itself is sugar free. However, there are some packages that come with toppings like honey or fruit. The strawberry Greek yogurt cups contain about 16 grams of sugar, still less than the traditional fruit yogurt cup option.
If you prefer to add some pizzazz to your Greek yogurt snack, add half a cup granola – that’s 12 grams of sugar. Blueberries contain way less sugar and are equally delicious to sprinkle in yogurt. Then, if you drizzle one tablespoon of honey, that’s about 17 grams.
Hard Boiled Eggs
Grandma had the right idea. Not only are hard boiled eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, they contain less than half a gram of sugar. Dash a bit of salt and pepper, add a side of cheddar cheese, and you’re on track for a tasty, low sugar snack.
This low-to-no-sugar snack is probably one of the most popular in many offices. It comes in many forms — string, balls, cubes, slices, or entire blocks — cheese is the ultimate midday snack. Containing .3 grams of sugar, this snack will not lead to a 5 o’clock crash.
Fun fact: Did you know almonds are related to peaches? This tasty, sugar free snack contains heart-healthy fats, protein, fiber, a ton of calcium, and no sugar. It’s best to snack on dry roasted or raw almonds to avoid added salt or sugar. If for some reason you can’t get down with almonds, snack on cashews or pistachios instead.
So the next time you reach for a midday snack, check the ingredients for added sugars and avoid a sugar crash at the end of your workday.
About the Author
Erin Browner is a writer living in San Francisco. When she’s not chowing down on vegan baked goods (the Cheesy Chive Scone from Wholesome Bakery is her favorite), she’s on her yoga mat, loving her cats, or riding her bike through Golden Gate Park.