What do we really think of sugar free?


Sugar, sugar, sugar. You can’t escape the debate, from the Jamie Oliver inspired sugary drinks tax to new guidelines on reducing your intake of the sweet stuff from the World Health Organisation; sugar in the news is here to stay.

At Peppersmith we have long been advocates of a lower sugar lifestyle. If you want to live a long and healthy life, plus have a winning smile for years to come, it’s clear to us that you need to cut back on sugar.

What we weren’t sure of however, is what other people thought about sugar and the alternatives. So we teamed up with our friends at the Oral Health Foundation and went out to ask 1000 people for their thoughts on the sweet stuff and it’s alternatives.

This is what we found.


Over half of us think that sugar free products taste inferior to their sugary counterparts

This is a real problem. We know that if food and drink is not great tasting our lizard brain kicks into gear and demands something which tastes as good as it can be. This has long been an issue with sugar free food and drink where the low sugar option just…tastes a bit funny.

The good news is, if you do it right, losing the sugar does not mean sacrificing on taste. In our case, by replacing sugar with xylitol and using only the best natural flavours available, we’re proud to make something which tastes great, as well as being good for you. Our 5 Great Taste awards (and counting) are a testament to this. Put simply, there just doesn’t need to be a compromise between health and taste.

Other brands on the great tasting health wagon include Dash Drinks, Oppo Ice Cream and Nut Blend to name a few.

Still need more proof? How about this recipe for a sugar free Banana Bread and you can taste for yourself.


1/3 of us are concerned that artificial sweeteners like aspartame are unsafe in food and drink

Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame, Sucralose, Acesulfame K have always been, and remain, controversial ingredients. They are strong, synthetic sweeteners favoured by some food manufacturers as they are low calorie and most of all, cheap to use. The problem is that for many they are perceived as unsafe, and while we are unsure of the validity of some scare stories out there, we do know that many people have serious side effects from these sweeteners. Concerns around the safety of artificial sugar replacements doesn’t come as a surprise, but does show we need to keep shouting about ways we can avoid these unnecessary ingredients in the first place.

This is why we favour plant based sugar alternatives like xylitol, erythritol and the super sweet herb stevia. Xylitol is the sweetener we use in our products as it’s naturally derived, tastes as good as sugar, is low calorie, low GI and is recognised as completely safe in any quantity.  It also has amazing dental health properties (see point 3). Xylitol is not just for mints and gum though, it’s also great in baking and to sweeten tea or coffee, try it in granulated form from our friends at Total Sweet.

The main reason we switch to sugar free products is the extra functional benefits like healthier teeth

Nutritional awareness is increasing all the time. Not only do we know we need to take better care of ourselves, we are also getting better at knowing how to put this into practice with the food we choose. Take xylitol: it has none of the negatives caused by eating sugar such as: weight gain, lethargy, blood sugar spikes, cravings etc. More than this though, eating mints, gum or pastilles sweetened with 100% xylitol after food and drink can reduce the bacteria which causes to plaque and tooth decay by up to 90%. This is why the Oral Health Foundation endorses all our products and also explains why they were kind enough to help us with our survey. If a simple switch of something like gum or mints can not only cut your sugar intake, but also keep your teeth in tip top condition, surely its win-win.


We are keen to know what you think of the sugar debate and your thoughts on the sugar alternatives out there. Please comment below or drop us a line hello@peppersmith.co.uk to share your thoughts.

The post What do we really think of sugar free? appeared first on Peppersmith.

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