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10 Better Breakfasts: Sugar-Saving Swaps

March 27, 2017

A proper breakfast has the power to fuel your morning, boost your metabolism, enhance concentration, and set a positive tone for the rest of the day. Sadly, standard American breakfasts have been shown to do the exact opposite—excess sugars and refined carbohydrates hide in granola bars, cereal, processed bread, and even fruit yogurt, and are a recipe for mid-morning crashes and dreaded weight gain.

Want to know how you can make breakfast work for you, not against you? Here are 10 healthy twists on breakfast favorites that are sure to satisfy your taste buds AND your health:

Photo courtesy of Food By Mars

Photo courtesy of Food by Mars

  1. Swap sugary-granola for Grain-free Cocoa Granola. Serve it with banana slices and plain yogurt or milk for a protein, fiber, and antioxidant-filled breakfast with all the crunch, and none of the added sugar.

    Photo courtesy of Simply Delicious

    Photo courtesy of Simply Delicious

  2. Swap regular pancakes for Banana Oat Pancakes made with oats and sweetened only with banana. Pancakes are typically packed with sugar, butter, and refined carbohydrates. This alternative is a nutrient-rich rendition of the classic. Skip the maple syrup and you’re good to go.

  3. Swap sugary cereal for Shredded Wheat with milk and sliced banana or berries. If cereal is a must-have, stick to plain, unsweetened, whole grain sources. The first few days may be the toughest, but your taste buds will eventually adapt and you’ll be able to kiss sugary cereals goodbye. And we’re sure you’ll grow to appreciate the taste of fresh fruit as a natural sweetener!

    Photo courtesy of Minimalist Baker

    Photo courtesy of Minimalist Baker

  4. Swap sugary French toast for 5 Ingredient Banana French Toast sweetened only with banana. Similarly to pancakes, french toast can contain a plethora of ingredients with little to zero nutritional value. Try this more nutritious alternative, and remember to use whole grain toast as your base!

    Photo courtesy of Harney & Sons Fine Teas

    Photo courtesy of Harney & Sons Fine Teas

  5. Swap sugary coffee drinks for unsweetened tea. Every breakfast needs a better beverage. And let’s face it, a Frappuccino is actually a milkshake masquerading as coffee—you don’t even want to know how much sugar is in one of those bad boys. Ditch the milkshake for Harney & Sons Fine Teas Black Currant. Its fruity, berry flavor will satisfy any desire for sweetness, no added sugar required.

    Photo courtesy of Anne food.

    Photo courtesy of Anne food.

  6. Swap fruit yogurt for plain yogurt with fresh fruit. One 8 ounce serving of Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt has a staggering 30 grams of added sugar—that’s far more added sugar than one should eat in an entire day! Stick with unsweetened plain or Greek yogurt, and add your own berries or banana for fiber and sweetness without the added sugar.

    Photo courtesy of Paleohacks

    Photo courtesy of Paleohacks

  7. Swap regular waffles for Banana Coconut Flour Waffles. Believe it or not, these waffles are made mostly from eggs and bananas, making them high in protein, fiber, and micronutrients. Top with whole fresh fruit such as strawberries or banana slices and you’ve got yourself a power breakfast.

  8. Swap maple syrup for unsweetened applesauce and plain yogurt on pancakes, french toast and waffles. One tablespoon of maple syrup contains a whopping 12 grams of sugar, and that’s only a fraction of what people consume in one sitting. Although maple syrup is minimally processed, sugar is sugar is sugar, so make the switch to unsweetened applesauce and plain yogurt for a naturally sweet, creamy alternative.

    Photo courtesy of Realfoodology

    Photo courtesy of Realfoodology

  9. Swap brown sugar oatmeal for Banana-Sweetened Oatmeal. Brown sugar may be a classic, but it is time oatmeal shines without the added sugar. Slicing bananas into the pot with your oats and milk leads to an equally sweet treat, no brown sugar needed. Add a spoonful of nut butter or top with toasted almonds or pecans for added protein.

    Photo courtesy of Anne food.

    Photo courtesy of Anne food.

  10. Swap jam on toast for nut butter on toast with a side of fruit. Jams and jellies contain fruit, but they also contain a ton of sugar. Stick with a protein-rich spread such as nut butter that will fuel you throughout the day, and fiber-rich whole fruit. And don’t forget to choose a whole grain bread without any added sugar!

Once you start making simple swaps like these, your taste buds will adapt and your metabolism will follow suit. Remember—stick to whole fruit for sweetness, and choose fiber-rich, whole-grain sources of carbohydrates. And in general, it’s best if you make it yourself. To learn more about building a better breakfast, download Foodstand’s free app, and join the Avoid Sugar at Breakfast Challenge. Then invite a buddy to do the Challenge with you—to hold you accountable, and congratulate you for sticking with it.

From the Team


November 14, 2016


Each and every one of you Foodstanders is an inspiration! Be sure and take a moment to pat yourself on the back, and thank yourself for making awesome changes in your life, one day at a time. In the last week we’ve avoided over 450,000 grams of sugar, and consumed 20,000 glasses of water! #HighFives to everyone for working so hard to build lasting healthy eating habits.

A huge welcome to all new Foodstanders! We’re so glad you’ve decided to build good eating habits and make the better choice when it comes to what you put into your bodies. You’re worth it! Since there are so many new folks in the community, we want to answer some of the most frequently asked questions and share some tips that came up this week. If you have a thought or question for the community, please ask or share!

Q: Can you do more than one Challenge at once?
A: No. It has been shown that tackling one aspect of your diet at a time is the best way to form new habits. Work your way through the levels of your current Challenge, and when you feel as though you’ve developed a lasting habit, start a new Challenge!

Q: I slipped. What do I do?
A: Use a free pass when you check in on the Foodstand app, and get back on track for the rest of the day. Don’t be hard on yourself, and remember—progress over perfection! Slipping means you’re trying, so be sure to congratulate yourself on the next healthy choice you make 🙂

Q: How can I make myself drink more water throughout the day?
A: Always keep a water bottle on hand. If water is in reach, you’re more likely to drink it. Try drinking sparkling water (seltzer) with pieces of chopped fruit and/or mint in it—it’s much more fun than plain water. Or make a cup of tea (it counts as water!) for a flavorful, warm drink on a cold day.

Q: What’s a good soda alternative?
A: We love sparkling water with fresh fruit! The fruit flavors the water, plus it’s nice and fizzy. Or if you need something slightly sweeter, pour a splash of 100% fruit juice in a glass, and top if off with sparkling water (just remember that fruit juice is liquid sugar, so be sure to dilute it with the water).

Q: How can I prevent myself from snacking before bed?
A: Make a cup of herbal tea in the evening so you have something to sip. Reading a good book, watching a movie, or playing a game can also be a good distraction. Also, be sure to fill up on veggies, protein and whole grains—if you eat well throughout the day and have a nutritious dinner, you won’t think as much about snacking before bed.

Q: Help! How do I curb my sugar cravings?
A: Quitting sugar is hard, so be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for joining the Challenge! First, make sure you eat a well-balanced diet throughout the day—fill up on vegetables, lean meat or fish, whole grains and healthy fats (such as nuts or avocado). These foods will help you kick your cravings by keeping you full longer, balancing your blood sugar levels, and giving you the fuel that your body needs. The first week is the most difficult, but it WILL get easier, so hang tight! And if you need something sweet, grab a piece of fresh or dried fruit (such as a date or dried mango) to satisfy your craving.

Click here to read more FAQs.