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Favorite Sugar free or alternative foods?



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As the title says, what are some of your favorite sugar-free foods, treats, or Snacks? What about food substatutes or alternatives (eg. zucchini chips instead of potato chips)?

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those vegetable chips often aren't much healthier than the real thing since they're usually fried and salted. Some people like Quest chips, though - and the upside of those is that they're really high in Protein. Quest (and Larry & Lenny's) also make high protein Cookies.

I try to avoid things that are too close to things I really shouldn't be eating - or at least not on a regular basis. Although I do sometimes eat things like Greek yogurt if I'm craving ice cream - or else "popsicles" I make out of Greek yogurt and sugar free pudding.

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2 minutes ago, catwoman7 said:

those vegetable chips often aren't much healthier than the real thing since they're usually fried and salted. Some people like Quest chips, though - and the upside of those is that they're really high in Protein. Quest (and Larry & Lenny's) also make high Protein Cookies.

I try to avoid things that are too close to things I really shouldn't be eating - or at least not on a regular basis. Although I do sometimes eat things like Greek yogurt if I'm craving ice cream - or else "popsicles" I make out of Greek yogurt and sugar free pudding.

I think it's great that you're making some Snacks yourself! I actually make zucchini and kale chips myself using fresh vegetables and my dehydrator. So they aren't processed and taste great!

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To name a few:

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Posted (edited)

Forget Snacks entirely unless they are Protein or vegetable. They grease the slippery slope to regaining what you have lost. I speak from experience. I am approaching RNY revision and I will not make the same mistakes again.

The pre-op food plan and the (clear/full liquid/puree) stages post op while we are not getting hungry give us the opportunity to establish a new way of eating. If we seek sugar-free or Keto snacks we are merely making some substitutes for the OLD way of eating. It's too easy to find ourselves eating sugared and carbohydrate snacks and food when we don't happen to have the "-free" type.

Just because substitute snack foods are sold on bariatric sites does not mean they are good for us. If we are wise we will ignore those products.

Eat whole foods, fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits, quality poultry and meat products. Avoid sugar, sugar substitutes, wheat/flour products, and processed foods. We can get plenty of tasty food to eat with these choices.

I encourage you to obtain and read these two books by Dr. Matthew Weiner: A Pound of Cure and The Bariatric Guide and Cookbook. There are lots of other bariatric cookbooks available, too, including some for Air Fryers, InstaPots, and CrockPots. These will help you learn your new way of eating.

A Pound Of Cure.jpg

Bariatric Guide+ Cookbook.jpg

Edited by Sunnyway

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Posted (edited)

If I want sweet I go to fruit. If I want salty then nuts. On rare occasions, like when I have friends over for drinks on the deck, I’ll have hummus on whole grain rice crackers - can be moorish though.

I did find a seed, nut & dried fruit cluster ‘no added sugar’ snack but the reality was they’re sweetened with honey so the sugar content & calories were actually quite high comparatively. You really have to look carefully at the ingredient list & nutrition panel when making your decision.

If I want something sweet or dessert like I make chia pudding. I keep it simple just the chia seeds & milk (low fat, full fat or nut if you prefer) & flavour with vanilla only. On the recommendation of my dietician I used to also add some powdered milk to up the Protein but I found that made it too sweet.

I haven’t gone down the high protein biscuits or chips route because I just felt it would be an easy step back to eating the high fat high sugar versions for me. Some eat them without any issue.

PS - I love Dr Weiner’s you tube videos @Sunnyway. Simple, plain speaking.

Edited by Arabesque

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Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, Sunnyway said:

Forget Snacks entirely unless they are Protein or vegetable. They grease the slippery slope to regaining what you have lost. I speak from experience. I am approaching RNY revision and I will not make the same mistakes again.

The pre-op food plan and the (clear/full liquid/puree) stages post op while we are not getting hungry give us the opportunity to establish a new way of eating. If we seek sugar-free or Keto Snacks we are merely making some substitutes for the OLD way of eating. It's too easy to find ourselves eating sugared and carbohydrate snacks and food when we don't happen to have the "-free" type.

Just because substitute snack foods are sold on bariatric sites does not mean they are good for us. If we are wise we will ignore those products.

Eat whole foods, fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits, quality poultry and meat products. Avoid sugar, sugar substitutes, wheat/flour products, and processed foods. We can get plenty of tasty food to eat with these choices.

I encourage you to obtain and read these two books by Dr. Matthew Weiner: A Pound of Cure and The Bariatric Guide and Cookbook. There are lots of other bariatric cookbooks available, too, including some for Air Fryers, InstaPots, and CrockPots. These will help you learn your new way of eating.

A Pound Of Cure.jpg

Bariatric Guide+ Cookbook.jpg

Hi Sunny, thank you for the advice and I'm glad that it is working out for you! I will absolutely be taking a look at Dr. Weiner's books and videos!

That being said, there are some things that I don't completely agree with you about. Yes, I think focusing on the high Protein, low carb diet is important, and limiting snacking is also important. But here are my two hold-ups.

1) We all snack. With the gastric sleeve, we are told to have 4-6 small "meals" a day to meet a minimum caloric intake. I, and many others, are not going to cook 4-6 "meals" a day, it takes too much time. So, I would rather have a healthy snack like yogurt and berries than an unhealthy one like a sleeve of Cookies. Eating sliced deli meat and nuts can get very boring very quickly. That is why I'm trying to build a list of healthy snacks and alternative/substitute foods. This brings me to my second point.

2) Most of us live with other people. This means we are constantly exposed to the snacks and unhealthy food they are eating. If I can replace these foods with sugar-free or healthy alternatives, I won't be as tempted by them and even if I do indulge a little, they aren't as unhealthy as having a slice of cake or a handful of Doritos or potato chips. That is also why I asked about substitute or alternative foods.

Again, I appreciate your comment, suggestion of Dr. Weiner, and your encouragement, but it is a pipe dream to think that a person can stick to the pre-op or post-op diets everyday all-day for the rest of their lives. I'm just trying to limit my bad choices, especially while I'm at home surrounded by other people's food.

Edited by Stalled

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There is no one wrong or right way about snacking just a right & wrong way for you.

Personally, I did a lot of reading first. You asking what others are doing is good idea. You may not agree with everything people say but it may spark an idea, lead you to seek something similar or try something totally new.

I snack about 4 times a day to hit my calories & Protein. I personally have gone down the route of where possible trying to avoid or keep low sugar, sugar alternatives & artificial sweeteners, processed white flour carbs & pre-prepared ‘snack’ foods & meals. So I snack on combinations of fruit, nuts, cheese, yoghurt, Protein Bar, multi grain crackers, etc.

This is what’s been working for me. It may not work for you & your lifestyle & that’s ok. If it doesn’t complement your lifestyle it’s doomed to fail.

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5 minutes ago, Numbheart said:

Has anyone tried homemade kale chips? I saw someone post it on IG and I tried it, it cooked on an air fryer. I also like sugar free Jello

I love kale chips! It just takes forever to make them because of the stems/veins.

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Sorry, kale is of the devil. It is pure evil in food form. 😁

There is no single "right way" when it comes to eating/snacking habits. We're all different, both physiologically and more importantly, psychologically. What works for me may not work for you, etc.

When I read "Forget Snacks entirely, unless..." I immediately tune out. Things couched in absolutes don't resonate with me. Sure, those prohibitions may be absolute in YOUR experience, but they may not be so for others.

My nutritionist has been reinforcing that WE SHOULD be snacking post-surgery; 4-6 small meals per day is important to success. Advocating against that IMO runs counter to generally accepted practices.

Now with respect to what the composition of those snacks are, that IMO is a *VERY* YMMV issue.

Me? I eat garbage. I have my fast food and my chips, Cookies, etc.... but in much, MUCH smaller quantities than before I started this journey. Some might say that this is setting myself up for long-term failure, but I say au contraire!

I loathe cooking. I hate it. I can't be bothered by it. I don't want to "learn to enjoy it". I don't find value in it with respect to my time and/or convenience. Never have.

That's in my makeup. I am what I am.

I know myself and my weaknesses. I *NEED* to enjoy food. If it's food just for the sake of eating and nutrition, I WILL find a way to cheat, "sneaking" bad food on the side IN ADDITION to whatever healthy food I'm supposed to be eating... which IMO is far, far worse, given the increased caloric intake and quantity eaten.

Better that I cut to the chase and eat small portions of "bad" food that will satisfy me than to eat food I don't enjoy and still be psychologically unsatisfied, if that makes any sense.

It's better for me to work within the constraints of my weaknesses than to ignore them or try to futilely change what I believe to be fundamentally unalterable.

This morning I hit a new alltime low adult weight since age 18... 37 years ago... and my weight is still going down (albeit very slowly now) 13.5 months after surgery... so however unconventional, it's working.

I would hardly recommend this approach to anyone else... we're all different.

Edited by PolkSDA

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I probably single-handedly supported the entire beef Jerky industry during weight loss phase (and some months after that). Little to no sugar, lotsa Protein and satisfied my never-ending salt cravings. I always had a little ziploc of it in my purse.

I also ate alot of cottage cheese and yogurt.

After weight loss phase, I went through a love-affair with chicharron (i.e., pork rinds/cracklins). But I wouldn't recommend this until you are past weight loss phase as they are VERY high in calories (but also very high in protein).

In terms of substitutes and alternatives, here are some examples of items I ate (and still eat)...note that I was ultra-low carb during weight loss phase, and and try to be semi-low carb now (but don't always succeed, lol)

  • Shiratake noodles instead of Pasta (actually very low nutrtion-wise, but I had to eat my saucy foods with something!)
  • chicken pizza crusts instead of wheat based pizza crusts (I also did cauliflower crusts, but I personally prefer the chicken ones).
  • Kale chips instead of chips-chips
  • Berries instead of higher-sugar fruits
  • cashew milk instead of regular milk
  • almond flour instead of wheat flour (careful: almond flour is way higher in calories)
  • Stevia or erythritol instead of sugar
  • sparkling Water with lemon instead of pop/soda

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On 9/1/2021 at 7:48 AM, PolkSDA said:

There is no single "right way" when it comes to eating/snacking habits. We're all different, both physiologically and more importantly, psychologically. What works for me may not work for you, etc.

< -- text omitted -- >

Me? I eat garbage. I have my fast food and my chips, Cookies, etc.... but in much, MUCH smaller quantities than before I started this journey. Some might say that this is setting myself up for long-term failure, but I say au contraire!

I'm with @PolkSDA on this one (Full disclosure: I used to be Team Ultra-Low Carb during weight loss phase and some months afterwards, but had changed my tune since.)

OP, I eat "unhealthy" stuff on the regular. Mostly in the from of dessert-y stuff, and fried stuff. I still limit my carb-y bread/rice/pasta intake, but eat some once in a while ,esp if it's homemade. I also drink (alcohol) regularly.

I'm sure many of the members on here would tsk-tsk or clutch their pearls at the range of foods I eat. But I get it...my eating habits, while they work for me and my lifestyle, would be an utter crash and burn for others. I know my limits and boundaries and they know theirs. We all succeed and fail under different circumstances. The secret is to figure out what special set of circumstances will work for YOU.

I track everything I eat (garbage and all), and make decisions on what I am willing to eat based on what MFP says, as well as what my scale says in the morning. This protocol has been serving me well for 2 years.

I am only almost 3 years post op, so am really still just "at the beginning of the rest of my life", so who knows if what I'm doing will sustain me. But its working so far.

P.S. I am 5'2" female, 115 lbs and have been maintaining this weight (+/- 5 lbs) for 2 years.

Good Luck! ❤️

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I recently got some of the Smart Sweets at Target- 100 calories a bag or so. I really like them- they don’t taste exactly like real candy but that’s a good thing for me. I don’t feel compelled to eat them. And they have so much Fiber in each bag I wouldn’t dare eat more than one a day because it would be disastrous, let’s just say. Also no sugar alcohols which is super important to me because of how sick those make me.

My personal favorites are the sour patch kids knock off, and the regular Gummy bears.

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