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

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

  1. Doug Stante

    Almost EVERYTHING in a bag, can, bottle or jar in a grocery store has either sugar, honey, fructose or high fructose corn syrup added, Even things like Cocktail sauce for shrimp, and Horseradish sauce!! I found sugar added to dry roasted and salted sunflower seeds!!
    Cutting sugar out of your diet should be your highest priority. Doing so, however, may be near to impossible.
    The only cottage cheese I’ve found that is made from only skim milk, cream and cultures is Daisy. Everybody else adds some sort of sweetner.

    Reply
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  3. Bridget

    Im desperate to lose at least 15kg which I’ve put on since I fell into depression and PTSD. I have no energy because I find lollies ice cream ect my go too food but I do eat fresh veges and lean meat.
    I don’t like any seafood at all. Never have so how do I get around this? Ive always been slim with a great figure and now im ashamed even though my husband loves me no matter what but he wants me healthy. Im 5.4 in height and usually no bigger that 65 70 kg. Im currently 83kg which is 3 kg over my BMI which is scaring me. Exercise is hard as I have anxiety attacks in public and my motivation is very poor.

    Reply
  4. Sandra

    Looking foreword to diet with no sugar, had lost 3st and keep it off but over the year which we bought a caravan I’ve put a 1st on and would very much like to loose it😂

    Reply
  5. tim burgmaster

    I cheated a bit over the weekend by having and a little cereal and a cookie but have lost 11 lbs in 2 weeks.
    Back to the grind today, had some pink grapefruit for breakfast, some leftover meatballs for lunch, and some poached eggs with 1/2 slice of whole grain bread for dinner.

    Back at it!

    Reply
  6. SANDEE P PINKHAM

    I AM A KIDNEY & DIABETIC PATIENT…. I CAN NOT FIND A WEBSITE WITH FOODS, RECEIPES, ETC. ANY HELP WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED. THANK YOU

    Reply
    1. Recipe Team

      Hi there. Did you sign up for our sugar detox? You will get lots of recipes and meal plans. In the meantime, we have many recipes on Further Food that are no-sugar and easy to make!

      Reply
  7. tim burgmaster

    Hello, another question is it ok to cook with some sherry or marsala wine to add flavor to shrimp or chicken dishes? Thanks for your time

    Reply
    1. Recipe Team

      Hi Tim: That sounds fine-alcohol usually evaporates during cooking, but again, it’s all about portions and moderation. Limited amounts of sherry or marsala are fine.

      Reply
  8. tim burgmaster

    Hello, I really love this guide, it helps alot.

    Question, I cooked zucchini and eggplant in in a skillet with olive oil tonight is that ok to eat on this diet?

    Reply
  9. Claire farnell

    I started my sugar, gluten and dairy detox 4 weeks ago.
    I’ve lost a healthy 10 lbs already. My skin is glorious. I’ve stopped craving sugar altogether. Pains in my joints are going.
    Day 10-14 were the worst detox days. The headaches were shocking.
    It’s quite unbelievable how much hidden sugar is in so much of our foods.

    Reply
  10. anita

    is canned tuna or salmon any good for this diet…which is better in oil or in spring water..
    thanks for reply Anita

    Reply
  11. Lance

    Hi there, I started a sugar free diet not long a go and am doing ok so far. the biggest problem i am having is at dinner. every thing seams to have sugar in it, so lets say i am going to have a chicken breast normally every thing i looked up to put on it like a sauce ( BBQ, soy) has sugar. then when i am hungry there is nothing i can snack on besides fruit to hold me over until my next meal. a normal day for me goes something like this i wake up eat a hard boiled egg, will pick at grapes and may have a bonnan at dinner will have a chicken breast seasoned with mrs dash with brown rice and veggies corn green beans carrots what ever is in the house

    Reply
  12. Anne Camilleri

    I am a diabetic. It has effected slightly my eyesight. I am in despite need of how to keep the sugar under control. Can you explain to me how humulin 3 and GALVUS work? Thanks

    Reply
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  14. Yvonne English

    I am a diabetic and want to stop eating sweets .I have a fatty liver as Well. I just need a little help with choice of food . Yvonne

    Reply
  15. barbara

    Looking forward to this challenge. Unfortunately some of my most favorite fruits has to be comsumed in ltd amt. Banana, mango pineapple. But I am all in

    Reply
  16. Sally Keyter

    I have joined the 7 day challenge and I believe we will start on the 18th June but it would be helpful to know what we need to do regarding shopping. I normally shop on the weekend for my weeks shopping so it would be great to get this information for 16th or 17th June. Sx

    Reply
  17. laci

    there is a sugar free chalang that you have to do for 21 days because researchers say that if you cut out something for 21 days then you break a habit like sugar!!!

    Reply
  18. Paul Rivera

    How is fruit ok to eat if it has natural sugars. That’s not sugar free . My girlfriend is super sensitive to sugar.

    Reply
    1. Recipe Team

      Natural sugars in fruit are fine for our sugar detox. We recommend eating fruit in moderation-1-2 servings per day. However, we recommend avoiding all added sugars found in processed foods for the detox. Good luck to you and your girlfriend.

      Reply
  19. Linda Rickett

    I drastically cut down my sugar intake without knowing about the help you can give. Lost 9 lbs in weight too. Have printed off your sugar free guide. Thanks.

    Reply
  20. Debbie

    I to am suffering from Cirrhosis of the liver(I am 65) I stopped drinking 12/22/17 my problem is I am always hungry. I was eating candy, cakes & pies like crazy until I read your story. I am trying to go sugar & gluten free.

    Reply
  21. Jenny

    I have massively reduced my sugar consumption already and feel great for it. Looking forward to reducing it further and maybe seeing a few lb’s disappear!!

    Reply
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  23. Dixie Phillips

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

    Reply
    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!

      Reply
  24. 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!

    Reply
    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!

      Reply
  25. 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.

    Reply
  26. 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.

    Reply
  27. 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?

    Reply
  28. 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?

    Reply
    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!

      Reply
  29. 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!

    Reply
  30. 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?

    Reply
    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!

      Reply
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  32. 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

    Reply
  33. 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.

    Reply
  34. 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!

    Reply
  35. 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

    Reply
  36. 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

    Reply
  37. 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

    Reply
  38. 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).

    Reply
  39. 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.

    Reply
  40. 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?

    Reply
  41. 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 .

    Reply
    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!

      Reply
  42. 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.

    Reply
  43. 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.

    Reply
  44. 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?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  45. 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.

    Reply
  46. 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

    Reply
  47. Bridget bennett

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

    Reply
  48. 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.

    Reply
  49. 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

    Reply
  50. 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?
    Thanks

    Reply
  51. 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?

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  52. 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

    Reply
  53. 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

    Reply
  54. 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?

    Reply
    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.

      Reply
  55. 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.

    Reply
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    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!

      Reply
      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.

        Reply

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