What is the Lily’s Sweets 21-Day NO ADDED SUGAR Challenge???
For 21 days, you’ll ditch any sugars or artificial sweeteners that are added to foods to make them sweet. There are over 50 different names for added sugar and during the challenge you’ll read food labels to identify and avoid them.
What treats are allowed on the 21-Day Challenge? Choose naturally sweet treats such as whole fruit or treats sweetened with low or zero-calorie naturally-based sweeteners like Lily’s chocolate (sweetened with stevia & erythritol). You can enjoy the Sweet Life, with Less Sugar. #LilysSweetsChallenge
I’ve teamed up w/ Lily’s Sweets (my personal favorite chocolate!) to help create the guidelines of this challenge…and I’m pumped to be doing the CHALLENGE with you!!!
Why take the No Added Sugar Challenge???
1. Added sugar has little to no nutritional benefit. A diet with added sugar (aka “empty calories”) can contribute to weight gain, low energy, bad mood, skin problems like acne or wrinkles, and even chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
2. Create new life habits. When you cut out added sugar for 21 days, your taste buds change to crave less sweets, so even after the challenge you’ll be more likely to keep the good habits you create.
Sugars: Allowed vs. Avoid
ALLOWED: Sugar found naturally in food.
Examples: Whole fruit, unsweetened dried fruit, 100% fruit juice, unsweetened plain yogurt. Natural sugar is allowed because it’s found in wholesome foods that have nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Even though natural sugars are allowed, it’s still sugar so remember to watch portion sizes.
Pro-Tip: Fresh fruit is the best choice since it’s more filling than unsweetened dried fruit or 100% fruit juice. PS: Most yogurt and dried fruit has added sugar so read labels carefully.
ALLOWED: Zero-calorie naturally-based sweeteners.
Examples: Stevia, erythritol, monk fruit.
Pro-Tip: Lily’s chocolate* is made with stevia and erythritol and has no added sugar. Sweet!
*Not a low-calorie food. Please see nutrition information for calorie and sugar content.
AVOID: Sugar added to food.
Examples: Sugar can be found in obvious places like sugar added to coffee, syrups in coffee drinks, soft drinks, and dessert foods like cakes, cookies, pies, ice cream, etc. However, added sugar is often HIDING in most packaged foods, even ones that can seem healthy such as plant milks, dark chocolate, granola bars, protein bars, jerky, yogurt, dried fruit, cereals, pasta sauce, salad dressing, condiments, kombucha, wine, and bread.
Pro-Tip: To avoid added sugar, you have to read food labels. Check out the LABEL READING section below to help you find all the added sugar that’s hiding in your food.
AVOID: Artificial sweeteners.
Examples: Sweeteners like you would find in pink (saccharin), blue (aspartame), and yellow (sucralose) packets.
Pro-Tip: They are “not allowed” because the spirit of the challenge is to eat more natural & nourishing foods.
Label Reading to Find Added Sugar
On a food label, not all foods list “added sugar” so you’re going to have to get savvy about reading the ingredient list on a package. There are over 50 different names for sugar, check out the SUGAR SYNONYMS BOX below to help you find sources of hidden sugar.
- Even if a food says “0 grams” sugar, there still may be sugar in it. Always check the ingredient list to be sure.
- While some sugars like honey, pure maple syrup, and agave may seem better than white sugar, for purposes of this challenge, they are all still considered added sugar and are “not allowed” on the challenge.
- Dextrin is a fiber, not a sugar. It is sometimes confused with Maltodextrin or Dextrose which are added sugars and have similar names.
- Remember to focus on eating whole foods not just packaged foods that say “sugar free” or chips that don’t have sugar. Whole foods don’t usually have food labels such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds.
- Agave nectar
- Barbados sugar
- Barley malt
- Beet sugar
- Blackstrap molasses
- Brown sugar
- Buttered syrup
- Cane juice crystals
- Cane sugar
- Carob syrup
- Castor sugar
- Coconut sugar
- Confectioner’s sugar
- Corn syrup
- Corn syrup solids
- Crystalline fructose
- Date sugar
- Dehydrated cane juice
- Demerara sugar
- Diastatic malt
- Ethyl maltol
- Evaporated cane juice
- Florida crystals
- Fruit juice
- Fruit juice concentrate
- Glucose solids
- Golden sugar
- Golden syrup
- Grape sugar
- High fructose corn syrup
- Icing sugar
- Invert sugar
- Malt syrup
- Maple syrup
- Organic raw sugar
- Powdered sugar
- Raw sugar
- Refiner’s syrup
- Rice syrup
- Sorghum syrup
- Tapioca syrup
- Turbinado sugar
- Yellow sugar
Examples of artificial sweeteners: Acesulfame-K, Advantame, Aspartame, Neotame, Saccharin, Sucralose
Treat Yo’ Self with No Added Sugar
When you feel like a sweet treat, try one of these ALLOWED ideas:
- Lily’s chocolate chips: Enjoy a handful and savor one by one!
- Lily’s chocolate bar: Have a piece of a Lily’s chocolate bar w/ cup of mint tea.
- Hot chocolate: Stir Lily’s chocolate chips into hot unsweetened plant milk.
- Loaded apple slices: Top apple slices w/ almond butter & a sprinkle of Lily’s chocolate chips.
- Chocolate mousse: Melt Lily’s chocolate and mix w/ unsweetened plain yogurt or mashed avocado.
- Blueberry bowl: Have a bowl of blueberries topped w/ Lily’s chocolate chips.
- Coconut trail mix: Mix Lily’s chocolate chips + unsweetened coconut flakes + sliced almonds.
- PB&J trail mix: Mix Lily’s chocolate chips + peanuts + freeze dried strawberries.
- Banana skinnies: Cut a banana into thin slices, freeze in a single layer, and eat each frozen slice topped w/ a Lily’s chocolate chip.
- Chocolate strawberries: Melt Lily’s chocolate and use as dip for berries.
Do this 21-Day Challenge with me!!!
SIGN UP >> HERE <<
It starts MONDAY January 21, 2019.
PS: Track your progress w/ us on SOCIAL using the #LilysSweetsChallenge and tag @lilys_sweets_chocolate
Get a one-page *printable* QUICK START GUIDE HERE
Bonus: Use the 21-Day CHALLENGE TRACKER on the bottom of the guide to record your daily progress!
This post is sponsored by Lily’s Sweets, but all thoughts & opinions are my own.
Angela Medina says
Is xylitol allowed?
DJ Blatner, RDN says
Yes, in small amounts because of digestive issues. Erythritol is usually a more tolerated/preferred sugar swap.