What am I allowed to eat on a sugar free diet?
Sugar free to us means no added sugars, including honey and maple syrup. Stevia and non-nutritive sweeteners are okay and fruit is okay. Alcohol, like wine and spirits (not mixed drinks), is okay as long as there are no added sugars.
Just eat real foods! Seriously, you can eat so many foods on a sugar free diet, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, animal protein, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, avocados. Check out our Sugar-Free Diet Plan.
How do I know if sugar is in my food?
This can be tricky! Ideally, you are eating mostly real food which wouldn’t have a label. Foods that come in a package often have hidden added sugars. So, some of the ingredients on the package might not sound like sugar, but they are. Here’s a list I’ve put together in this infographic about hidden sugars.
Do I have to avoid fruit when going sugar-free?
I don’t recommend giving up fruit unless you have some health reason for avoiding it. Fruit is nature’s candy and contains health-promoting micronutrients and fiber.
What if I cheat?
It’s not a contest and please don’t feel guilty if you have sugar when you don’t intend to. In this case, it might be good to review your reasons for going sugar-free and think about what other choices you could make in the future, especially in a similar situation.
How do you cut sugar out of your diet?
It’s up to you whether to cut it out 100% or to take baby steps. Either way, you’ll likely see health benefits from cutting back on sugar. Here are our guidelines for cutting sugar out of your diet.
How can I live sugar free?
Unless you have a health condition that means you really need to restrict even sugar from whole foods, then there are lots of ways to live sugar free and still not feel deprived. From eating fruit to just adding more whole foods to your diet, it’s actually not that hard to live sugar free. However, if you’re feeling panicked about cutting sugar out of your diet, you might need to consult a therapist who can help you separate emotionally from sugar.
Written by Carrie Forrest, MBA, MPH in Nutrition; founder of Clean Eating Kitchen