Going Sugar-Free? Your Handy Food Guide of What to Eat, What to Avoid


Are you trying to follow a sugar-free diet but not sure what foods are okay to eat? We’ve created an easy-to-follow infographic of “yes”, “no”, and “limit” foods to help guide you. It features all the foods you can enjoy as well as some key sugar-rich culprits you should avoid (dried fruit, we’re looking at you!).

Print out this handy guide and put on your fridge or keep it in your bag. Use it when you’re eating out or when you’re trying to figure out what to cook. We’ve also have hundreds of no-sugar added recipes in our recipe database make it even easier for you to go sugar-free! Taking steps to cut back on sugar could be one of the best actions you take for your health. Simply decreasing your daily intake could help you lose weight, lower your risk of disease and feel more energized. Now, how sweet is that?

Sugar has been shown to be a main cause of chronic disease, including heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression, dementia, and infertility. Yet, more than 70% of Americans eat over 3 times the recommended daily amount of sugar!

That’s where our Challenge comes in. Our 7-day sugar detox will help you start to beat the addiction and take control of your health. Take the #SUGARPLEDGE to cut out sugar from your life and feel the benefits which can include sustained energy throughout the day, improved focus, fewer cravings, clearer skin, weight loss and less anxiety.

Foods with no sugar
It’s super important to know foods without sugar and those that have added sugar. Our guide will help you determine foods with no sugar that you can eat during our sugar detox as well as anytime you want to follow a sugar free diet. Keep this guide handy with you-print it out or take a screen shot on your phone. Refer to the guide when you are at the market or out to dinner as a reminder of what foods you can eat.

Ready to cut sugar out from your life? Take the #SugarPledge and sign up for our FREE 7-Day Sugar Detox Challenge.

Looking to reverse the damage of sugar and rejuvenate your skin? Try adding a scoop of Further Food Collagen into your morning routine to keep aging at bay! Learn more here.


Learn more! How to cut out sugar from your diet: 

5 Surprising Reasons Why Sugar is Making You Age Faster!

10 New Sugar-Free Snack Ideas You Haven’t Thought Of

Cutting Out Sugar? 10 Surprising Foods Full of Hidden Sweeteners

Sugar: What It’s Really Doing to Your Body

Just Diagnosed with Prediabetes or Diabetes? 5 Easy Steps to Maintain Normal Blood Sugar

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119 thoughts on “Going Sugar-Free? Your Handy Food Guide of What to Eat, What to Avoid

  1. Pingback: No Sugar Land | Bilker Allee Opening | Life in Duesseldorf

  2. Dixie Phillips

    How do diet sodas figure into this diet? I think I can eliminate sugar but not sure about Diet Coke!!!

    1. Recipe Team

      Dixie-we recommend cutting out all artificial sweeteners as they can actually increase sugar cravings! Try replacing your soda with lemon water or turmeric tea instead!

  3. Aaron Stevens

    We’re trying to implement the sugar detox challenge in our workplace and the following questions have come up.
    1) Is vodka okay? There’s no sugar in vodka, so why not allow it?
    2) In terms of the “limit foods” section, what’s the definition of “limit”? Is one of each of these items per day okay? Or is it one of these per day?
    Thank you!

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Aaron: That’s great that you are implementing our challenge at work! All alcohol, including vodka, should be limited for the 7 days. Even if vodka doesn’t have sugar, it’s still an alcohol that can affect your liver as well as your will power-so for the 7 days we omit it. After the 7 day challenge, vodka and other alcohols should be used in moderation (and be careful about not adding in sugary juices or other mixers). In terms of the limit foods, it depends on which ones. Some you should limit in how many items you have per day-such as the high glycemic fruits. Others you should limit in quantiy-such as cheese (only a small portion per day). Good Luck!

  4. Elaine Milne

    Hi me and my husband are looking to In prove our self s by going on the sugar free diet can you give us any help please.

  5. Laura

    Thank you for this simple list! Great to have in one place. Please can I ask if lemon is OK? I only saw lime in the allowed fruits list but not lemon. I like a slice of lemon and gingerin hot water in the mornings so wanted to check! Thank you.

  6. kath Lawton

    For health reasons, I have M.E, I need to find a sugar free daily diet, could you help me with this, please?

  7. Judy

    Why is Stevia under the limited foods. I follow THM and we are allowed to have Stevia. People have been dropping weight like crazy. Does the Stevia do something to our bodies that I am not aware of?

    1. Recipe Team

      Thanks for the questions.We recommend limiting all sugars and consuming Stevia in moderation as eating too many sweetened foods can lead to more sugar cravings. Good luck!

  8. Pondermess

    Hi there, not sure if I am missing it here, but I can’t find ‘potatoes’ (not sweet pot). Can someone please confirm if normal potatoes are sugar free or high/low GI? I have heard conflicting things!

  9. Tina moore

    Hi , I live in rural Scotland , will I be able to sign up for the 7 day detox , are the ingredients for the recipes common knowledge worldwide?

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Brenda: This chart is a good start! Did you sign up for our next detox that starts March 19? We will send yu meal plans and recipes to help you out. Good luck!

  10. Pingback: Sugar-free Diets – Sixteen Challenges

  11. Paul Clark

    I’ve done it before but went on a massive binge of really crap food and after a few years of that sugar is making my health deteriorate so need to do this for myself and my family

  12. Larry L Pranger

    Thank you for this list on sugar. I , after 28 years in Denver, Colorado moved to Winston-Salem N C. The difference is, day & night. Healthcare in America. Colorado rated 13 of 51. Includes D C. North Carolina # 47. Fattest cities in America? Jackson , Mississippi # 1. Now they are rating 100 cities. Winston-Salem is rated # 9. Denver is # 97. Seattle- Tacoma. # 100. Best. To your readers!!! Why, don’t the governors, Mayors of 10 southern states do SOMETHING as the fat, obese situation in their states contributes to our extreme high cost of health insurance. SUGAR, other than cultural, education, contributes to this epidemic in the SOUTH!!! Larry L Pranger.

  13. Catharine

    Just signed up for the 2/19 challenge because short of going to a sugar rehab facility I am at the end of my rope!

  14. Sarah Butters

    I am trying sugar free as addicted to diet coke and also have polycystic ovaries so it’s important for me to give up sugar as the condition can’t control insulin

  15. Victoria Shaw

    I find this hard I was going try give up suger for cancer charity and I t not do well today but also tomorrow I got cold make things wose

  16. Marwan

    Hello, based on my experience as a diabetic, lentils and all kind of beans has lots of carbs and therefore increases the sugar level, so shouldn’t they be avoided ?

    Thank you

  17. Gilbert Burt

    I am a 35 year diabetic. I always try to count my carbs and sugars as I eat and making making my carbs come out a lot more than sugars (sometimes having to guess, but I admit that I have made some good guesses).

  18. Jacqueline Wood

    Sugar appears to be the root of all evil for me weight wise and health wise, I think now is the time for me to take stock of my rubbish diet and go sugar free! I’m hoping for a revelation! It is going to be hard but now I have determination.

  19. Andy Plummer

    Hi, I feel sugar may be the root cause of all my problems. I had a bad relationship and I think the sugar might have caused it. I yelled sometime because of the sugar. Can the sugar diet help me to be a more loving person?

  20. Tania Young

    I have given up sugar,I had no choice in the matter ,for some reason ,my right leg and foot and heal pain’s ,also pushed my blood pressure up,doctors couldn’t figure what the problem was,I new instinctively that sugar was the culprit, I have been feeling much better, since .

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi: We make it so easy for you! We give you meal plans, recipes and even a shopping list. And it’s just 7 days! We recommend you sign you and just give it a try. We offer the sugar detox several times a year, so you can keep doing it repeatedly. Good luck!

  21. Soraya shehab-Ash

    I would like to know that if I am not sure of a food or drink I can ask and some one will Gide me . I was on optifast that was great I went overseas and put on 5kg l would like to loose that without going back on optifast. My weight is 85kg I would like to be 75kg. Thank you.

  22. Brandi Davis Ring

    I have diabetes that is controlled through pills, but was told that if I lose weight it would go away, the same as my high blood pressure. I eat good but not as good as I should and I want to be healthier.

  23. Gen

    As a waitress at a busy chain restaurant, I sometimes struggle to resist the urge to eat some of the more sugary/processed that we serve. Any advice on how to say no when I’m surrounded by, and forgot to bring my own snack?
    Also any advice on breaking a nine year old’s obsession with sugar?

  24. Michelle

    Hell I’m in for this challenge. I shall try this for 1 week, the hardest is the wine o’clock!! That will be the hardest to boot.

  25. Sharon PROFFITT

    When you say limit some foods what does that mean, once a day, or once a week not sure how much is right
    Regards Sharon

  26. Bridget bennett

    Hi I have 2 boys with glycogen storage disease and need to limit sugar intake could you give me some recipes please

  27. Rhonda Spayd

    My husband and I are eager to get started with our sugar detox! Two of our daughters have been trying to get us to do this so we are going to try it. Just a question about potatoes it says white potatoes how about red or sweet potatoes or even yellow potatoes? thanks for this site it is great with all the recipes.

  28. Jo

    My daughter has to avoid all sugars even natural sugars in fruits , dairy , gluten and refined foods . The sugar thing im finding hardest to find recipes for

  29. Laura

    Hello I am vegans so I can’t do any eggs, meat, milk or seafood. Would tofu be okay to use in place for those food items those?

  30. Kerrie

    Seriously considering trying this for health reasons, BUT im allergic to vinegar. Are there any sugar free alternatives to dip veggies in, like cucumbers?

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Jean:
      Hi Jean: Bacon is fine in moderation. As far as the oatmeal and any other packaged food, always look at the back of the label for added sugars.

  31. Corissa

    Hi! I just have one question. Can you eat any kind of butter? Or can you have margarine, sweet cream butter, etc or does it matter?
    Thank you

  32. Kelly M Mason

    Ready to take the challenge
    I have been living almost sugar free but excited to tamp it up
    I have MS and have been on the Wahls protocol which mirrors this very much
    I see I have been having to much pineapple though

  33. Anonymous

    What about Xylitol?

    And why do you feature recipes on your site that are loaded with sugar– easy no bake chocolate PB bars, really? A little tempting for those avoiding sugar, no?

    1. Recipe Team

      Hi thanks for you comments. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that cannot be digested by the body. While this makes it a zero-calorie sugar substitute, the effects on the body are unclear. Because it can’t be metabolized, it can build up in the digestive tract and cause harmful bacteria to ferment there, causing intestinal discomfort, bloating, etc. Research has shown stevia is a safe sugar substitute, but the research on xylitol is unclear.
      As far as the recipes, we offer a variety of options that people can choose from. If you are looking for only sugar free recipes, we have many recipes on Further Food that can help you stick with your sugar free diet.

  34. Lucy Geijske

    LOL your list is sooo American ! We won’t be eating Bison here in Australia. (might need to substitute with crocodile) LOL 🙂 Looking forward to the sugar detox.

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  37. Pingback: Going Sugar-Free? Your Handy Food Guide of What to Eat, What to Avoid

    1. Samantha

      Hey Jocelyn, thanks for your question! During the detox we recommend that you limit refined flours. You can find lots of recipes within our meal plan and on the further food site. If you do want to eat noodles or tortillas, we would recommend whole grain varieties like whole wheat, brown rice or quinoa pasta. Hope that helps!

      1. Jocelyn

        Hi Samantha! Thank you for the quick response and suggestion. The meal plan is great, and I’ll definitely try some recipes in the future.


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