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Surprising Food with Added Sugar and Alternatives

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When I cut out refined sugar, I was shocked at commercial food that contains added and/or refined sugar.

In my first shop, I bought a bottle of ‘healthy’ salad dressing. The packaging looked wholesome, the word ‘healthy’ was proudly shining up at me, there was an illustration of a vegetable, you name it, this bottle had it and I thought I was on the right track.

Until I read the label.

‘Sugar, dextrose and other natural flavourings’.  I felt disheartened and annoyed that a salad dressing that was seemingly healthy, was ram packed of added sugars.

The good news is you don’t have to have this happen to you, too and there are alternatives for just about everything.

I have put together a list of commercial items I was surprised to find have added sugars and, more importantly, refined sugar free alternatives, some of which you can make yourself.

If you aren’t familiar with reading labels, the article Cutting out Refined Sugar? Here’s Where to Start contains a list of refined and/or chemical sugars hiding under different names.

Food Containing Refined and/or Chemical Sugar


Sugar Free Alternative                                                             

 Breakfast Granola or Muesli   Healthy Nutty Granola Recipe

Ginger Spice Healthy Sugar Free Granola

Peanut Butter Standard peanut butter usually contains sugar so look out for organic brands such as Meridian and Whole Earth.

Some supermarket own brands also have ranges of peanut butter without added sugars.

‘Healthy’ or ‘Low Fat’ Breakfast or Granola Bars Nut Butter Protein Balls Recipe

Sugar and Gluten Free Granola Bars 

Vegan Lemon and Chia Seed Protein Balls

Flavoured Yogurt Try having organic Greek yogurt sweetened with honey and seasonal berries for flavour

Add some flavour to plain yogurt with my Orange, Cinnamon and Honey Breakfast Topping

Breakfast Muffins Pistachio and Raspberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

Roasted Hazelnut Muffins with Orange and Maple Syrup Glaze

Chain Café and Supermarket Smoothies Peppermint & Melon Smoothie

Get the added bonus of tricking yourself into greens for breakfast Secretly Green Red Berry Smoothie

Protein Mocha Smoothie

Supermarket Sliced White Bread and Some Sliced Brown Bread Good quality sourdough bread or ciabatta loaf from your local bakers.

If you do not have easy access to a bakery, speak to the team in the bakery department of your supermarket. Many loaves which are baked or part baked in store do not have refined sugar and the staff have ingredient lists out the back.

Store Bought Salad Dressings, yep, even the ‘healthy’ ones Lemon Pesto Dressing 

Creamy Tahini and Lime Dressing 

Tangy Lime Dressing

Fig Salad Dressing

Frozen Fries – These usually contain Dextrose which is a sugar derived from starches. Rosemary and Garlic Sweet Potato Fries
Cured Meats – Contains Dextrose Not all cured meats contain dextrose so where possible, buy your meats from a butcher or deli who will be able to give you further information about the contents.


Canned Foods – e.g. Chickpeas – Contain Dextrose Organic chickpeas, dry or canned organic


Pretzels and Savoury Chips/Crisps Not all commercially bought crisps have added sugar, keep an eye out for brands like Kettle or Tryells


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