Life is sweet … with these easy sugar swaps!


If you’re cutting back on added sugars or calories, try these swaps from the American Heart Association to get the sweet taste you love:

Baking and Cooking
Unsweetened applesauce can substitute for some of the sugar in a recipe. You may need less oil, too —adjust the recipe as needed to get the taste and texture you like. Or try using a no-calorie sweetener suitable for cooking and baking.

Desserts and Sweets
Instead of indulging in a traditional sugar-based dessert, enjoy the natural sweetness of fruit. Fresh, frozen and canned (in its own juice or water) are all good choices. Try them baked, grilled, stewed or poached.

Dressings and Sauces
Swap store-bought bottled salad dressings, ketchup, tomato sauce and barbeque sauce — which can have a lot of added sugars — for homemade versions so you can control the amount of sugar added to them.

Snack Mix and Granola
Make your own, without all the added sugars. Combine your favorite nuts and seeds (unsalted or very lightly salted), raisins and dried fruits (unsweetened), rolled oats and whole-grain cereal (non-sugared/non-frosted) — and skip the candy!

Soda/Soft Drinks
Swap sugar-sweetened beverages for plain or sparkling water flavored with mint, citrus, cucumber or a splash of 100% fruit juice.

Tea and Coffee
Swap sugars (including honey and agave syrup) for a no-calorie sweetener. One packet adds about the same sweetness as two teaspoons of sugar — and typically saves you more than 25 calories.

Get recipes and more tips at and

The American Heart Association recommends cutting back on added sugars. Using low- and no-calorie sweeteners is one option that may help in an overall healthy diet. Foods and beverages containing low- and no-calorie sweeteners can be included in a healthy eating plan, as long as the calories they save are not added back as a reward or compensation. The FDA has determined that certain low- and no-calorie sweeteners, such as sucralose, are safe.

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