Sugar-Free How To

Here is a List of What To Eat and What To Avoid When Following a Sugar-Free Lifestyle

  • Don’t go from eating sugar non-stop to completely eliminating it in 24 hours because it will most likely backfire. Take a gradual process and try reducing your sugar intake each day. Cut out the sugar in your coffee or tea and look at your condiments such as honey mustard and ketchup, which may have added sugars in them.
  • What is added sugar? Added sugar is when the word “SUGAR” or any form of sugar is listed on the ingredient list of the foods you are eating. Here is a simple example: You have two jars of salsa in your hands: One jar lists tomatoes, peppers, onions, salt, spices and water while the other, let’s say it’s ‘organic’ salsa lists tomatoes, sugar, peppers, onions, salt, spices and water. So, what is the difference? Even though the second jar of salsa is organic, it has ADDED sugar (think of taking a teaspoon of white sugar and adding it to the jar of salsa). That is what the manufacturer did to the organic salsa. Now, the non-organic salsa has no added sugar. But the confusing part is that  it may list sugars as 4 grams on the nutritional label, whereas the organic (sugar added) salsa may list sugars as 2 grams on it’s label. Why is that? Isn’t that confusing? That’s because the salsa without added sugar, made from whole ingredients (tomatoes, peppers, onions, salt, spices and water) contains more natural sugars (sugars coming from tomatoes and vegetables) which are higher in some cases than added white sugar. This is why it is SO important to read labels. Just because the amount of sugar on the nutrition facts is lower on one jar of salsa compared to another does not mean it is the better choice. You must look at the INGREDIENT LIST on each salsa to confirm that no added sugar is listed.
  • Replace sugars with stevia, a calorie-free sugar substitute made from a plant.
  • What is stevia? Stevia can be up to 300 times sweeter than regular cane sugar. Stevia doesn’t raise blood sugar; it has no calories or sugar because it is an herb. It’s an herb from a plant that grows in Brazil and Paraguay. A little bit of stevia goes a long way; it’s sold in powder and liquid form.  Store stevia in your pantry.
  • Use stevia in baking recipes for breads, cookies, pudding, pies, ice cream, pancakes, etc.
  • Stay away from processed sugar substitutes such as aspartame and Splenda.
  • Use fresh fruit: fresh fruit adds such a natural sweetness to recipes without the refined added sugar.
  • Try using pureed pumpkin or sweet potato and no-sugar added applesauce in recipes in place of the sugar for a sweet taste without the sugar rush.
  • Sugar comes in many forms included (but not limited to): maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, sucanat, brown sugar, molasses, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Eat naturally sweet fruits and vegetables such as beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, fennel, leeks, onions, scallions, oranges, berries, bananas, apples, pomegranates, etc.
  • Eating green vegetables, alkalizes the body and detoxes it of unwanted toxins. Greens are filled with minerals and nutrients that are vital for cellular regeneration.
  • Use fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, mint and marjoram.
  • Whole foods are what belong inside your body! Try these naturally sugar-free foods: fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, organic eggs, organic turkey, organic chicken, low-mercury fish, beans, legumes, whole grains such as brown rice, millet, quinoa or buckwheat (all gluten-free).
  • Remember, sugar is still sugar in any form and if your body is inflamed then sugar will fuel your inflammation.

It is essential to work with a nutritionist and an Integrative M.D. because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. This information is only given for informational purposes.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

michele July 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Great advice about label reading. I try to tell my family that they do not need salsa with sugar in it, but Costco knows what keeps people eating….
I am curious for you opinion about a couple sugar issues: first, the prevalence of high fructose corn syrup. After all your research, have you developed an opinion on the theory that the switch to a corn-heavy diet in general (thanks to the switch to corn as the primary livestock feed as well hfcs in processed foods) and hfcs in particular is linked to the increase in obesity on both a caloric and chemical level? For example, the theory that hfcs reacts differently than sugar because it does not trigger the satiety vs. the industry claim that “all sugar is the same”?
Second sugar q: how do you feel about the whole anti-carb campaign that has suggested even fruit is “bad”?

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Amie July 30, 2013 at 7:36 pm

Thank you Michele; I believe that each individual is different and while sugar may bother some people who have candida or dysbiosis, it doesn’t bother others. I don’t agree with eating a ton of sugar however I don’t have a problem with clients enjoying a treat from time to time made from quality sugar and also have them enjoy fresh, organic fruit!

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Amy McFarlane October 7, 2013 at 8:49 am

LOVE your site and the advice given in this post. I have a crazy question about stevia. I limit sugar intake to mostly fruits for my toddler but with the holiday season fast approaching I would like to do some healthy baking with him. I know stevia is a natural product and I am assuming it is okay but just wondering if you know of any reason little ones should not have it. I can’t imagine why but thought it was worth asking:) Thanks again for all the great advice and diet information.

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Amie October 7, 2013 at 9:18 am

Thanks Amy; I actually just stopped using stevia because I learned that none of the stevia in the USA is pure and it’s always filled with additives and most additives come from GMO corn. Therefore I stopped using it. I’d try to use pure maple syrup as a sweetener! Hope that helps!

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Amy McFarlane October 7, 2013 at 9:48 am

Thanks! That does help:)

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Mirta January 11, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Hi Amie. I started reading your site this week and thank you for all the great information you share with your readers.
I have a question about stevia. I am currently using organic stevia extract. The name is SweetLeaf a product of Wisdom Natural Brands out of Gilbert, AZ. The label indicates no other ingredients have been mixed in and only contains organic stevia extract. As far as I can tell this product has no additives. What do you think? Is this a good product to use to replace sugar?

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Amie January 11, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Thanks Mirta; my advice is to use stevia is NO fillers like NuNaturals Liquid stevia. Look at the link on my Favorite Products page. Enjoy! xoxx

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Cindy April 12, 2014 at 12:56 am

I have friends that actually grow stevia and dry it themselves so that would not have any additives correct? Thanks!!!

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Amie April 15, 2014 at 9:16 pm

Not sure Cindy; I use organic stevia!

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Brandy October 7, 2013 at 10:16 am

As someone suffering from severe candida issues, I absolutely LOVE this post!

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Amie October 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

Thank you Brandy; hope you feel better! oxoxx

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Kristina December 19, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I just found your site, and I am so grateful! I wanted to get your thoughts on agave nectar as a sweetener. Thank you!

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Amie December 20, 2013 at 12:36 am

Thanks Kristina; I don’t use agave- it’s pure sugar and processed so I stear clear of it. Hope that helps! oxx

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Cloe January 27, 2014 at 12:46 pm

HI i just found out my 3 year old daughter is allergic to all sugar expect natural sugar i will have to change her hole diet and as well as take out sweets, change from all white breads pasta, to brown. my only upside is she loves all kinds of fruit.. should i do this gradually or cause she eat so much fruit could i just give her fruit and she would still be getting sugar Thank you

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Amie January 27, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Thanks Cloe; great to hear from you! Happy to help. Have you tried using stevia? Try the NuNaturals liquid of stevia- alcohol free- it’s on my favorite products page. That will help because it’s sweet without any sugar. Hugs!!!!

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Emily March 11, 2014 at 5:58 pm

Love these tips, Amie! In particular, I’m glad you wrote about the various forms sugar can take. On my first day sugar free – 5 days ago – I had something with brown rice syrup and effectively was eating sugar. I found that out quick enough, but the fact that it can be hidden in different words is a great takeaway. Also love that you mention sugar’s role in inflammation!

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Amie March 13, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Thanks Emily!

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Chris J March 28, 2014 at 11:28 am

I have to cut back on sugar as blood sugars have escalated, so I do what I can to cut back on sugar considerably. However, I am not a believer in being absolute about eating or not eating any food–simply not part of my flexible lifestyle.

Gluten-free, sugar-free, meat-free…at least folks now, despite the 100%ers who adhere to strict dietary guidelines because they are sheep listening to marketing sway, are recognizing that a diversity of foods is best, that gluten won’t kill them, that sugar (too much) could kill them, etc.

Not saying you are a sheep because I agree that too much sugar is not a good thing.

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liz norton March 30, 2014 at 4:29 pm

is dried fruit okay

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Amie April 5, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Yes but make sure it’s organic. I use Earthbound Farm Organic Dried Fruit; make sure to eat in moderation as fresh fruit is best!

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Karen April 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm

Some people (like me) react badly to stevia. I’m gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar free and stevia free as well. And no, it’s not what they add to it or how they process it. I tried both drops and leaves from a friend who grew it and reacted. The next year I grew my own to test and nope. My body just does not like it. If anyone else is out there who reacts, you are not alone.

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Amie April 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm

Thanks Karen; I can use NuNaturals Stevia and also the organic stevia from Frontier Organic….those work for me!

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Mary Leming April 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Thank you for sharing this! I really need tips on going sugar-free to get my Candida issues under control. It’s hard it’s as if my body craves sugar, and the less I eat the more I crave it!!! Thanks so much again for sharing your tips and advice. So helpful!

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