Give Intolerant People Coconut Bliss

One of my favorite products sweetened with agave is Coconut Bliss, an ice cream brand made from coconut milk.  Many “sugar-free” ice creams are made with the type of artificial sweeteners that cause digestion problems, (such as Bryers, whose second ingredient is Malitol,) so it’s hard to eat them happily when one knows one might afterwards feel sick.  In contrast, Coconut Bliss is not only delicious, it’s usually a safe bet for those who are lactose intolerant, sugar intolerant, gluten-intolerant, soy-intolerant, and vegan.  (Inviting “intolerant” people to a dinner party?  Consider having Coconut Bliss on-hand for dessert!)
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If you’re on a low-sugar diet because table sugar and high-fructose syrup give you hypoglycemic reactions such as brain-fog and fatigue, there’s a possibility that you might not have to avoid eating sweets all together.  Some people’s bodies can tolerate certain sweeteners better than they can tolerate others.  To use myself as an example: my own blood sugar levels don’t seem to rise when I have food sweetened with fructose (not high-fructose corn syrup, but the crystallized type one can buy in a bag, like this one sold by Now Foods.)  Also, honey gives me brain-fog, but agave nectar does not.  Agave is also  liked in the vegan community as a substitute for honey, as many feel that harvesting honey exploits bees.  

     Agave is said to be more caloric than table sugar, however, and its health benefits on a whole are debatable.  Frankly, doing research on it did make me cut down on it myself, as I used to sweeten drinks with it but have switched to Stevia instead for health and weight-loss purposes,  See Dr. Jonny Bowden’s Debunking the Blue Agave Myth at the Huffington Post (04/17/2010) to get details on the controversy.
     Like many sweeteners, when eaten in moderation, however, it can be wonderful, and a true diet-saver for those of us whose bodies can’t tolerate the “harder,” more commonly-used sugars. It’s worth trying out and, if it works for your particular body, adding foods made from it to your low-sugar arsenal.

Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Sausages

Aidell’s Chicken and Apple Sausages

It’s hard to find a sausage sans sugar, but these are pretty darn good.
For a quick meal, we fry them up and serve with sides such as apples, avocados, and wheat bread.

Almond Butter! (“Barney Bare” and Barney’s “Raw + Chia”)

     I love this stuff on celery and carrot sticks–I take two tablespoons to work in a container and dip the vegetables in for a good-tasting, filling snack.  (The brand doesn’t seem to have a sugarless snack pack yet, unfortunately, so it takes a while for those of us who are dishwasher-less to wash the stuff out of the containers, but whatever.)  Try it on apples, too. And if you’re wanting an almond butter and jelly sandwich, try pairing it with a low-sugar jelly like Dalfour’s.
     It’s usually healthier than peanut butter (see here for a break-down of nutrition information for Barney Butter.) It’s slightly lower in calories, with 7% saturated fat (instead of the 18% normally found in peanut butter) and it contains more fiber and vitamins.
     Two warnings:
     1. The price of almond butter goes up and down, due to the availability of almonds.  At the moment I’m writing this, it’s around ten dollars a jar..
     2. Though there are many yummy almond butters on the market, many have sugar.  Most of the Barney Butters have sugar, for example, but Barney Bare
and Barney’s Raw + Chia do not. original

Hebrew National Beef Bologna

I”d of course love to make some sort of “that’s no bologna” crack about Hebrew National Beef Bologna, which is sugar-free.  That would go against the point that I want to make, though, which is that this IS bologna, probably the only bologna on the market that doesn’t have sugar in it, and that it tastes like…bologna.  Good bologna.  And that it helps prove that cold cuts don’t have to have sugar added to them to taste good. (Though most other cold cuts do have sugar added to them, unfortunately….)

Calories for 2 slices: 170. Find more nutrition information here. 

Does raisin bran need sugar-coated raisins? Heck no.

Looking for a good-tasting raisin bran with raisins that aren’t coated with sugar? (Why oh why oh why do so many brands cover their raisins with unnecessary sugar?!) Go with Erewhon Raisin Brand.

Bonus: a small bowl is usually enough to satisfy–I tend to binge on cereal myself when I can, but this fills me up quickly so I’m much less tempted to over-eat.

(Not super-easy to find in stores but one can buy it on Amazon.)

A nice, tangy salad dressing by Bolthouse Farms

Bolthouse Farms 

Classic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

A guest at our latest dinner party gathering, assigned a salad, was kind enough to seek out a low-sugar salad dressing.  Foodie-friends (ones who won’t eat anything other than the best stuff) suggested this one. I believe he found it at Stop n’ Shop.  The sweetener in it is pineapple juice.
Ingredients: Reduced acid pineapple juice from concentrate (water, reduced acid pineapple juice, concentrate), Balsamic Vinegar, Natural Flavor, Salt, Garlic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Xanthan Gum, Red Bell Pepper, Onion, Flax Seed Oil, Spice
Serving Size: 2 Tbsp
Calories: 30