low sugar lifestyle reviews

Low sugar lifestyle product reviews: July/Aug 2016

See below the video for timestamps so you can skip to different products and get more information on each one.

Enjoy!

Timestamps & links

00:28 Egg snack pots

Pick them up in on the go sections at many of the major shops and supermarkets e.g. Sainsburys and Pret A Manger

01:07 Dr Kargs Wholegrain Organic Emmental crispbreads

Get them in Sainsburys, Tesco, Ocado.

02:00 Twinings liquorice tea

Also check out my review of Pukka Detox tea

2:45 Choc Chick chocolate making kit

Also check out my video review of Sweet Freedom

5:48 Rebel Kitchen coconut water

7: 44 Oatly Oat Drink and Provamel Cashew Milk

Please do comment below with any thoughts or other products you’d like me to review.

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Sarah Wilson I Quit Sugar online program review: Is it right for you?

Are you thinking about enrolling on the IQS8W Program?

Curious to know what’s included, what works and if the program is a good fit for you?

Here I lay out a comprehensive I Quit Sugar review, specifically the 8 week online programme.

I'll share my own experience from when I did it; what the benefits are of this particular sugar detox programme and outline what considerations you need to make before signing up.

I quit sugar for life

The rise of the sugar detox

So I think it’s fair to say sugar detox programmes are on the up!

Now that sugar is well known for being dietary culprit No. 1 and it's ill effects are understood, understandably many people are wanting to significantly reduce the amount they’re eating - quickly and with some sort of guidance. 

Once you have that penny drop realisation that you’re eating a heck of a lot more sugar that you thought and you know your sweet tooth is playing on you in less desirable ways, you start looking at your options.

Should you go cold turkey or reduce gradually? Should you consider natural sugars like fruit? Should you use other sugar substitutes?

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About the I Quit Sugar 8W Programme

The I Quit Sugar online programme provides an answer to these and came off the back of Sarah Wilson’s hugely successful I Quit Sugar & I Quit Sugar Cookbooks.

I have followed Sarah and I Quit Sugar for nearly 4 years now and their work is fantastic. It educates, inspires and champions lower sugar living in a non dogmatic approach. I’m a huge, huge fan having most of the books and cooking many of the recipes regularly.

The online programme gives you full meal plans, recipes, e-mail support and community via a forum and social media.

What are my loves?

  • Practical recipes & meal plans
  • Organisational tips
  • E-mail information
  • Social media community
  • Enough time to change habits

Recipes & meal plans

Quite frankly, the simple, delicious IQS recipes are everyday easy and busy-fitting. You get exclusive access to 93 recipes that aren’t on the free blog website and each week your recipes are cleverly organised into a food waste optimised meal plan and shopping list. If you value your time and want the hassle taken out of healthy meal planning or want a new injection of recipe ideas, this is a huge benefit.

Organisational Tips

The programme encourages you to have a Sunday cook up preparation session where you make things like pureed pumpkin mash or prepare your eggs so that you save food prep time in the week.

I learnt a ton of new things via this part of the programme that I still do today. ​

Even if you don’t follow the meal plans exactly (I tend not to do this), but you use the programme to learn and test out all the new healthy organisation tips, this is of great value to someone who is quite new into cooking lots of sugar-free meals at home and just needs to get a bit more organised.

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E-mail information

The weekly e-mails keep you engaged with much wider information on tips to reduce cravings, theories on changing habits and some great background reading to get you nicely up to sugar speed.

Social media community

Whilst they have a very active forum, I actually think the social media community is the most valuable whilst on the programme. It’s super easy to search the #IQS8WP hashtag and engage with everyone else who is preparing and eating the same dinner as you. It incentivises you to make an effort with food presentation which makes you enjoy the food more and it’s super fun to have a programme so interactive.

Enough time to change habits

I really love that the IQS8WP is a full 8 weeks long. This is super important where it moves away from a quick fix diet and really helps you transition into a low sugar lifestyle. The programme takes you through a few weeks where fruit is limited but then re-introduces this in the last few weeks as it does with rice malt syrup (the sugar substitute of choice).

Improvements

As far as it exists as a ‘sugar detox’ programme (I will explain my views on this later), I really do feel like the IQS team have it covered.

Only slight improvements that could be made that I have come across reading other reviews could be the fact it’s not as couple or family friendly or low income adapted where it requires you to cook in bulk and have access to a lot of freezer space. But I think if anything learning the techniques will actually help you save money in the long run.

Obviously the programme doesn't deep dive as much into mindset, emotional eating and binge eating which can all be ​important factors in a successful transition. I don't think they can include everything though and I think IQS is wise just sticking to doing the programme as well as they do.  

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My experience on the programme

I actually did the programme when it first came out back in 2013 and each round they improve so I know it's way more advanced for these current rounds. 

I wasn’t coming into it a huge sugar fiend as I had already lowered the sugar in my diet and previously had completed the same format through Sarah’s original I Quit Sugar book.

However, I was keen to get the extra recipes, learn new organisational tips and inject some new inspiration for planning out my meals. I saw it as a bit of a refresher and obviously I was curious too!

Things to consider before signing up

This is IMPORTANT! 🙂

Before deciding to enrol on the IQS8WP it’s worth you really understanding the nature of your own relationship with sugar and exactly where you are.

I say this because I’ve seen first hand that a programme like this can work absolute wonders for some and do the opposite to others. The IQS programme delivers amazing value but only if you’re at the right place for it.

Things to note are:

  • It is a diet
  • It will make you think about food more (and assign attention bandwidth to it)
  • It somewhat removes your inclination to intuitively eat for yourself
  • It can excaberate all or nothing mindset patterns or binge eating behaviour

Although touted as a lifestyle, the actual 8 weeks are putting restrictions and eliciting a form of control over what you eat - so it is a diet. 

However that doesn't mean to say you can't transition what you learn into a lifestyle afterwards - and many do. It's just accepting initially that this is a diet and understanding the implications of that. 

Like with any diet, you will on a day to day basis become more conscious of what you eat. You are likely to think about food more, even think about sugar more (very likely at the start) and naturally assign your attention to eating according to the plan and rules rather than what feels more intuitively right for you and your body/hunger that day. 

This can be a good thing if you were previously unaware of sugar; your bad habits or sweet cravings were getting the better of you; and you know a bit of structure will get you into a healthy gear and teach you loads about yourself.

I personally embrace a intuitive eating and a long term no-diet approach, but for sugar with it's certain 'addictive' qualities, I fully appreciate the value in a structured programme (or sugar detox) to help someone tame down their cravings and recalibrate their sweet tastebuds for a period of time.

If I didn't believe this, I wouldn't be reviewing this programme!

HOWEVER, a sugar detox is not so good if you’ve been on loads of diets before (especially sugar related ones); you have strong all or nothing mindset patterns; and you judge yourself heavily if you don’t stick to things.

If you recognise any form of binge pattern behaviour in yourself, I ask you take some serious consideration on your motivations before enrolling.

A great idea would be to take my Sugar Addiction Quiz and Test to help you get a handle of what’s really going on and if you’re still not sure about the IQS8WP and if it’s right for you right now then just drop me an e-mail.

Is it worth the £80 (or $150)?

This is down to you, your income level, your current ‘improvement’ priorities and what you value e.g. accountability, creative meal plans etc. 

The IQS8WP is pricer than a standard sugar detox programme - you can of course always get the book to DIY it, or find another cheaper programme (although most are a lot shorter).

But if you know you will find significant value in the fact it’s 8 weeks, the community aspect, the organisation-optimised meal plans and the weekly structure, it’s probably is worth the money (relative income level depending).

It’s great if you can look at what you spend elsewhere and make a budget reallocation e.g. cut one night of drinking wine, stop the PM cake run and give up a clothes shopping trip for a month or two. Calculate how much you spend on chocolate in 8 weeks and it might even cover it!

I’ve recently decided I want to do more yoga in London (read EXPENSIVE!) so I’m trying to work out a wine-yoga trade off that I’m happy with so that I can make this happen a bit more (note, I’m by no means trading all the wine...just cutting out a little excess!).

I’ve also just had an ex-client e-mail me to say his blood tests have all dramatically in the past year since his sugar change and he’s reduced his risk of serious liver disease and gout significantly.

An investment in your health like this can pay off more than you even anticipate and help you be a healthier happier Mum, friend, employee etc. for years to come.

IQS 8-Week Program

In summary

So there you have it, my review of the queen of all sugar detoxes - the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program.

To round up, really understand the unique value points of the the IQS8WP - the community, the organisational element and the length of support - and weigh this up with what you’re looking for.

Make sure you consider your current relationship with food and sugar before you enrol. The programme and quality of material in my opinion is nothing short of excellent and it will only be ineffective if you’re not in the right place for it.

Please do my quiz and test and if you're still not sure comment below. 

The next round starts on the 9th June 2016 and registrations close on the 7th June.

You can sign up here.

If you do enrol, GOOD LUCK - I’d love you to keep in touch and let me know how you go!

Laura xx

Note: I am a proud IQS affiliate and do get a kickback if you enrol via one of my links (thanks if you do!). I only share stuff of great value and share my honest opinion to help you make the best choices for YOU. As I said, feel free to e-mail me if you’re feeling super stuck on if to go for it!

Low sugar lifestyle product reviews (including Nakd bars!!)

 

Nakd bars – Read Are Nakd bars good for you and you might also find Dates: Good sugar substitute or sugar bomb? helpful too.

Madecasse Madagascar 80% dark chocolate which you can buy in Waitrose for £2.99. Also check out my other video on the sugar in different %’s of dark chocolate.

Check out Nothing But Mange Tout & Red Pepper Snacks.

I know what I say in the video around natural sugars is confusing so read more about what you need to know about fructose here.

Aduna World Moringa Powder. Buy in Holland & Barratt for £7.99

Lindwood Milled Flaxseed with Bio Cultures & Vitamin D £5.79 I like the vitamin D one as it’s something many are deficient in and with the bio cultures you get your bang for your buck with this I feel!

Biona Organic Cuisine Milk & Odourless which you can purchase from Ocado for £4.79 here.

Merchant Gormet quinoa £1.99

Mind Over Medicine by Lissa Rankin, M.D Buy from Amazon here for £7.79 on Kindle

That’s it phew! Any other products you’d like me to honestly review or try please let me know in a comment below.

 

Laura xx

 

Review: Lizi’s Low Sugar Granola (video)

Before you watch the video I just want to say I kept saying Lindsey instead of Lizi (Very sorry Lizi’s Granola for this!). I always manage to do something when it comes to video blogging (one time I created my own word ‘diabesity’ without realising!)

You can buy Lizi’s Low Sugar from their website here for £3.75 a bag. I’ve also seen it’s now stocked in As Nature Intended stores.

Also watch my video on Goji berries here

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Sarah Wilson I Quit Sugar for Life Book review

So a few weeks ago I was very honoured to meet the wonderful Sarah Wilson at her London I Quit Sugar for Life book review. I was in awe, I was a little starstruck and I’m delighted to share my thoughts on her book with you after utterly devouring it.

Me sarah wilson

Firstly, Sarah has been an incredible inspiration for me over the past 18 months in a number of ways. She’s certainly helped me along my own sugar-free journey with delicious recipes and great tips, but she’s also been a role model for me in helping me develop Happy Sugar Habits and pursuing this as a line of work I can dedicate myself to in a bid to spread a message I really believe in and live by. She’s continued to motivate me to inspire others with my own story and speak out in my own way about something (sugar & sugar ‘addiction’) that gets a fair bit of pushback at times.

 I Quit Sugar for Life

So what do I think of the book? Well, I quite simply love it. It’s pitched as ‘Your fad-free wholefoods wellness code’ and that’s really what it is. It’s a health bible that can support a balanced and super nutritious healthy lifestyle rather than a regimented totally ‘sugar-free’ diet – which I certainly don’t live these days.

What do I particularly love?

Tips & tricks for everyone – even if you’re not sugar-free or don’t want to go sugar-free, there’s enough other health busting knowledge in this book to make some very positive changes that will help you keep full, keep nourished and keep happy. I don’t think anyone can do any harm adding more green to their diet right?

A focus on leftovers and efficiency – Admittedly I’m a bit (probably an understatement) particular about this too. I have been known to eat some very strange things just because I’m trying to eat things up. Sarah provides some very very clever ideas to help you do your part on reducing food waste which I love. Herbs frozen in stock cubes ready to use…genius!

Simple recipes – Whilst the occasional recipe does have an ingredients list that’s rather long (there’s a layer cake recipe that would take me a whole weekend), most of the recipes are with fewer ingredients and with less ‘faff’ than many other recipe books. This makes sugar-free living accessible to many and practical. Some of the ingredients are a bit specialist, where you can’t find it all in your local Tesco. However, the specialist ingredients are used throughout the book so you’re going to use it up if you cook the recipes often.

Sarah wilson signed book (please re-size)

Things to note

Sarah doesn’t really align to vegan and is quite strong on her view on the nutritional benefit of animal protein. She actually answered this question directly at the book launch. Similarly like me, she is also fine with dairy (make sure it’s good quality and full fat!). I think this is a personal thing for everyone, but important to be aware of before you buy (in case you’re intolerant or very anti-animal products).

If you’re a fish lover rather than a meat lover like me, there aren’t loads of fish recipes. Just something I noticed because salmon, which is one of my favourite foods, doesn’t feature much.

There’s quite a heavy use of rice malt syrup in the ‘sweet recipes’. Because rice malt syrup is so low in fructose, you have to use quite a bit of it. I don’t like to rely or swing too heavily when it comes to one sugar substitute (read why here). I imagine I’ll mix these recipes up a bit with other substitutes or keep them for every now and then rather than weekly.

Note: If you’re churning through rice malt syrup like no tomorrow thinking all the recipes are ‘healthy’ then I would say it’s time to check in where you are with cravings etc. As Sarah does re-iterate, it’s important to note that the ‘sweet’ recipes are still a treat. In that sense I think it’s also OK to have coconut sugar, raw honey and higher fructose things like bananas on occasion too, but just to not go mental and to make sure you feel in control with it all.

Overall

Many of Sarah’s principles I completely and utterly align with – maximising nutrition, saving waste, cooking efficiently, eating protein & fat with all meals and having fun with it. There are some things I do a bit differently, so I pick what I like and blend it into my very own ‘wellness code’. I’m pretty sure that’s what Sarah wants you to do with this book.

The recipes, pictures, writing style, structure and layout of the book are for me also what makes this such a beautiful health resource. It’s a pleasure to browse through, it makes you excited about health and it inspires you to get in the kitchen cooking up you own wholefood world of goodness. It makes it all fun and pretty – thank you Sarah!

I’d strongly recommend I Quit Sugar for Life and Sarah’s other books for anyone looking to start out in the world of sugar-free. You can also read my similar reviews of her 8-week programme book and her chocolate cookbook.

Where to buy them?

All the ebook versions can be bought on the I Quit Sugar website and downloaded instantly. You can buy the print versions of I Quit Sugar (£7.00 + delivery) and I Quit Sugar for Life (£10.00 +delivery) both on Amazon.

Sarah wilson books banner

Note: I am an affiliate of Sarah’s so I do get a little something when you click these links which helps me bring more Happy Sugar Habits stuff to you!

Competition

I quit sugar for life

Sarah has kindly donated three printed books as a giveaway. If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning, just comment below and tell me about where you are with sugar at the moment (I will reply to everyone!). For extra entries you can like the Happy Sugar Habits Facebook page and/or tweet the following:

I just entered the Happy Sugar Habits competition with @lauraj_thomas to win a copy of @_sarahwilson_ #IQSforlife https://www.happysugarhabits.com/?p=3169

WIN a copy of @_sarahwilson_ #IQSforlife with the Happy Sugar Habits competition @lauraj_thomas. Enter here https://www.happysugarhabits.com/?p=3169

Competition closes on the 26th May 2014 and winners will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Aside from the competition, have any of you already got the book? What do you think of Sarah Wilson and the IQS books? Leave a comment and let me know 🙂

Laura x

5 easy ways to use cacao nibs

I picked up these cacao nibs in Holland and Barratts (£7.99) where you can currently get one half price when you buy two (I gave a bag to Stephanie Fleming for Christmas if you’re wondering!).

What do you think of cacao nibs? Too bitter? Or an awesome sugar-friendly chocolate hit? Let me know in a comment below.

Laura xx

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Review time: Dark chocolate brands

A little while ago I did a sugar comparison on dark chocolate brands to help you get an idea for those that are high and those that are low when it comes to sugar content.

I advocate dark chocolate as a lower sugar option in a number of instances e.g. better than a sugary low fat yoghurt, better than a Special K bar and better than a 100 calorie milk chocolate bar. However, as my previous post demonstrated, not all dark chocolate is equal.

I really used dark chocolate to help me transition from my post meal sweet fix for a period of time and I still dabble every now and then if I really fancy it. There are a world of brands and varieties out there. I can’t review them that fast because I simply don’t eat it often enough!

Nevertheless, here are some reviews on many of those that I compared and a few that have made it into my home!

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Willie’s Cacao Venezuelan Gold 72%

I ended up with this chocolate because I mentioned to my mum I wanted to try their 100% cacao block, and she was on the lookout for it as a present. I wanted the block because it’s good for grating and using in recipes. However, my mum found they had run out of it, and not wanting to disappoint, she picked me up a different one from the same brand.

This Venezuelan Gold 72% is about as sweet as I can tolerate – I don’t like to go below 72% cocoa solids these days (oh how things have changed!). This bar has quite a distinct unusual nutty flavour – sometimes I think I really like it, sometimes I’m not sure. It comes wrapped as two big thick squares, so it’s not great for breaking off and eating (I like thin and snappy) but it is superb for grating though. Try it grated over full fat natural yoghurt and frozen berries for a tasty, sugar sensible dessert.

Green & Blacks organic 85% (&75%)

This is a classic and the 70% is usually pretty widely available here in the UK at a reasonable price in most supermarkets and shops. A smooth texture and lovely taste, it’s quality dark chocolate.

I prefer the 85% as it’s a bit lower in sugar, but the 70% variety can come in a really cute little bar.  This is great for those that struggle to stop at one or two squares and need a bit of forced portion control…and it’s just so cute!

Lovechock

12% sugar (coconut nectar – so one of the healthiest forms of sugar)

80% cocoa solids

Dairy & gluten free

100% raw

OK, I was given a Lovechock bar  to try at a show I attended. It’s really really nice, so much so that I found I got ‘I could easily eat the whole bar’ syndrome. I don’t usually get this so I wonder if this has something to do with the different ingredients or if it’s just way up there in terms of taste. They also gave me an orange and goji berry one, which again was totally delicious, but a little higher in sugar and it put me on the border of being in sugar control!

If you want to try, you need to buy online, I found Detox Your World sells it for £2.78

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Lindt Excellence 90%

This is dark. It’s for the hardcore dark chocolatiers. It’s the lowest in sugar content, so it’s more bitter than sweet. I love this chocolate now, but I expect if you gave it to your Dairy Milk sugar-loving friend, they would screw up their face like they’d eaten a sour grape and say ‘That’s not chocolate.’ Try it and let me know how you get on!

It’s definitely one to work towards and if you can grow to like it as much as I do, then you can satisfy your chocolate fix with practically no sugar…result!

Nero & Bianco

I picked this up in my office canteen one day. I have to say I’m not a massive fan. It’s quite sickly sweet and doesn’t feel as good quality as other brands. I still have half a bar of it leftover that I haven’t touched. Enough said.

Lindt Excellence Chilli

This is so unusual and I love the chilli-choc combination. It’s a nice smooth texture with a great velvety kick afterwards.

However, despite being ‘dark’, it’s nearly 50% sugar, so beware. Don’t go eating this thinking you’re being dark chocolate virtuous, because I’d count it more towards the regular chocolate camp.

It was largely my dark chocolate of choice for a while, but as I became aware and I moved to the darker end of the scale it edged down the ranks. As my tastebuds continue to get used to a life less sweet, I probably won’t buy it again or at least for a while.

What other dark chocolate brands have you found and would like to share? I will continue to try some new ones over the next few months.

 

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Video Review: Get clued up on ‘Sweet Freedom’

A must watch if you’ve bought or been tempted to buy this product which I’ve noticed is now in most major UK supermarkets and health stores.

Useful videos and links on things that I mentioned:

I quit sugar chocolate cookbook review

Review: Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Chocolate Cookbook

Love chocolate? Attempting to get on the low sugar train? These two things don’t tend to go hand in hand, do they? Fear not my chocoholic friend, help is at hand. Sarah Wilson has gone and made a completely sugar-free (and fructose-free) Chocolate Cookbook. I’ve purchased, read and road tested a recipe. So it’s only fair that I share my thoughts……

The book in a nutshell

  • A whopping 89 pages!
  • 74 recipes, although some are variations taken from other Sarah Wilson I Quit Sugar books.
  • Lots of extra and detailed information on things like the difference between cocoa and raw cacao.
  • Pictures, prettiness and pure salivating material.

I quit sugar chocolate cookbook review

My favourite bits

  • Substitution is easy (& encouraged). I don’t often have all of the random ingredients, and I like the fact that Sarah appreciates this and offers practical substitution options.
  • Sarah emphasises that these are treats and because they still taste sweet, they’re not appropriate whilst you’re on a formal sugar detox. I am in complete agreement, so this is possibly a better buy later on in your sugar-free journey.
  • Some combinations are brilliant. They’re creative and unusual, and I am thankful that they have been discovered!
  • Apparently you can have some of these chocolatey things for breakfast. Coco Pops you’d better watch out!

Sarah Wilson I quit sugar chocolate cookbook review

Know this

  • Recipes are generally made sweet tasting with rice malt syrup, stevia and coconut, so you’ll have to perhaps buy a few things. I will also add that fruit does not feature in any of the recipes.
  • Lots of the recipes involve coconut oil or butter so you will certainly need to get over any fat fear (if it’s still lurking).
  • Some recipes are what I would deem a bit ‘faffy’, but others are super easy and quick, so simple souls like me are well catered for.

I quit sugar chocolate cookbook reviewAll in all, I think it’s a good shout, especially if you’re at the point of being more or less safely off sugar, and you’re looking for a dessert alternative to natural yoghurt. You can buy and instantly download the Chocolate Cookbook for $16 which worked out just over £10. Some of these recipes are also great if you’re a serial baker or you want to impress some guests without a complete sugar blowout.

Here’s a picture of me with my adapted version of the Sweet Potato Fudge. I used walnuts and I didn’t add enough cocoa (whoops!). But they still turned out well and tasted mighty fine, hence the Happy Sugar Habits smile…

 I quit sugar chocolate cookbook review

Note: If you decide you want to purchase and you click through one of my links, I am an affiliate for Sarah and I get a small thank you. I’ve given my honest opinion on the book and am purely reviewing it because I genuinely think it’s good stuff for those on a sugar-free journey. All proceeds go to support the continuation of this blog. 

Any other good sugar-free resources you know about? Feel free to comment and by doing so you’ll be sharing the love with all who read this post.

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Are Nakd bars good for you?

Do you LOVE Nakd bars? They are by far one of your favourite health snacks and you find yourself enjoying them quite often. However with all the stuff about sugar recently, do you wonder if Naked bars are good for you?

It’s a very common question I get asked these days, so I decided to help you out and lay out all the facts so you can make your mind up in line with your own personal situation…

Before I continue, I will say that the lovely Natural Balance Foods sent me a load of these bars to review and this was when I was quite new to blogging.

I was in a bit of a quandary because at that point I was what I call quite ‘sugar sensitive’  –  I was in a stage of my transition where I needed to be more cautious around some of my former favourite sugar fixes to avoid slipping back to the unhealthy habits I had with them.

Having a whole box of Nakd bars in my house and not reverting back to old ways was going to be a test…

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Nakd Bars Reviews

Fair to say, ‘Natural’ healthy bars used to be my thing.

I would try out and hunt the latest ones on the market like my life depended on it because they were the most guilt free way I could satisfy my sweet fix.

At one point, these Nakd bars completely fed my ‘sugar addiction’ on a daily basis (it’s a strong term but you know what I mean).

I was eating 1-3 of them a day. Everyday. I had a ritual of eating them after a meal and in the afternoons and sometimes (also) for breakfast. I was hooked on these because in my head I could label them ‘healthy’, however, I was VERY accustomed to having a decent bit of fructose in my life everyday (read what you need to know about fructose here).

If you feel you’re in a similar place with these, you’re not alone and you should definitely read on….

Are NaKd bars good for you? The for and against…

Firstly, I want to highlight some really great points about these bars. They:

  • Are made with 100% natural ingredients i.e. not overly processed.
  • The Nakd bars recipe is simple with just a few ingredients
  • Contain mainly just fruits and nuts. Not refined sticky rice puffs like other cereal bars
  • Are pretty substantial and do definitely fill a hunger gap
  • Suffice as a source of some protein which comes from the nuts
  • Taste really delicious (I LOVED the cocoa orange one)

However, let’s not beat around the bush, on a sugar front they are not so great, due to the following:

  • Most bars are made with dates and raisins. Nearly all of them are made with approximately 50% dates and then another 10-15% raisins on top.
  • Dates and raisins are two of the highest and most concentrated forms of sugar (and fructose) around.
  • They are big portions of dried fruit. 35g in a packet equals a decent amount of your daily sweetness intake.

So how much sugar in Nakd bars?

On average we’re talking 14-15g sugar per bar. This is near enough 4 teaspoons of sugar if you were to convert it to white refined, which is quite a lot when you think of it in actual physical teaspoons.

The danger of this much sugar is that it’s likely to make you crave sugar again later on and continually build up your preference for sweet food in general.

To put it into perspective, I very roughly aim to eat about 25g of natural sugar a day.

So, relatively speaking, one of these Nakd bars is quite a big proportion of that (over half). This is similar to other health food bars – see the below image from The Daily Mail.

sugar-cereal-bars

Some can be less sugar, for example a small Special K bar can be around 7g, so Nakd are still over double that. Natural sugars yes, but high in sugar nonetheless.

To help you with the range, here’s a list of the lowest to highest sugar content by flavour:

  • Ginger Bread 11g
  • Pecan Pie 12g
  • Cashew Cookie 14g
  • Cocoa Orange 14g
  • Cocoa Delight 15g
  • Cocoa Mint 15g
  • Berry Delight 16g
  • Caffe Mocha 17g
  • Rhubarb & Custard 18g

To be honest the lower sugar ones are my favourite anyway. You may also find seasonal ones like the Christmas Pud one which is about 17g if I remember.

nakd-bars

So should I eat them?

This really does come down to you and where you’re currently at with sugar. Are you actively trying to reduce your sweet cravings to get more control? Are you trying to just make ‘better’ healthy swaps? Are you just in need of some quick release energy after exercise or running?

1. What to do if you’re trying to get control & reduce cravings

I’d say pull back on eating these for a while. They don’t have to go off your radar forever, but it may be worth you going through more of a tastebud recalibration period. Their high fructose content and addictive deliciousness won’t help with the end goal of getting more control over sweet food (trust me on this one!)

2. What to do if you’re trying to just make ‘better’ healthy swaps

If you’ve decided you’re going to eat something sweet and are about to reach for a chocolate bar, a flapjack or a full on dessert, these are a WAY better substitute. They were a definite ‘bridge’ for me in terms of switching bad foods to ‘better’ foods. However, know there are even lower sugar ‘better’ swaps like a small square of dark chocolate (1-5g) or some full fat greek yoghurt (contains the less addictive lactose sugar). Remember, this is a progressive journey.

3. What to do if you’re intensely exercising

Because dried fruit is a quick releasing source of natural sugar for the body, these can actually be a great post workout fuel. However if you also fall into the first category I mentioned earlier where you’re also trying to get in control, you’re faced with a dilemma.

You need to try and refuel where you can with lower fructose options (I know this is hard). I suggest checking out my 101 sugar strategies guide for ideas and if you’re a sweet toothed runner, you may also find this post useful.

4. Another one… When you’re a bit hungover!

After a little excess, your body is processing the alcohol and as a result isn’t that great at processing other energy you have stored. That’s why you find yourself craving quick sugar (Lucozade anyone?!). A Nakd bar, or similar equivalent can hit the spot in a more natural way, but again just be mindful of the sugar in them and the impact on your cravings. If you can opt for a good hearty eggs based breakfast instead (get some spinach in that fry up!) then you’ll nicely steady your blood sugar without the sugar hit.

In summary…

I’m hoping this post has been helpful to you wherever you are on your low sugar journey. I do think Nakd bars have a fair bit of sugar (sweetness) in just a single bar and they certainly aren’t something I’d advise to eat if you’re actively looking to cut down or get a bit more control over things. I encourage those reducing their cravings away from them.

These are not something I eat regularly now, but do occasionally enjoy as a natural treat because I know there’s no danger of going back.

However, I appreciate, everyone is different and at varying stages of lowering sugar, so really, it’s your call. Some are mighty tasty and they are a lot ‘better’ than other sweet things. At least now you can save yourself some sugar credits by opting for the lower sugar ginger bread flavour and you’re fully aware of how much sugar you’re putting away when eating one.

If you tend to get a bit confused between natural sugars when reading label then you can download my free 6-step process to reading labels PDF guide  which will walk you through really logical steps. Honestly, get your head around this process and you’ll never look back!

If this has been useful please share, like, comment or wave 😉

What do you think of Nakd bars? I would really love to hear your thoughts on these….favourite flavour, when you eat them etc.