Whether you are diabetic or just looking to start a sugar-free diet, there are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods that have no sugar. Since sugars are forms of carbohydrates, starting a sugar-free regimen will also cut a significant amount of carbohydrates out of your diet. But be forewarned, almost all fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy products and processed and packaged foods have some amount of sugar—the difference is whether the sugar is natural or added.
Processed beef, poultry and fish often have sugar and preservatives as additives, but natural cuts of any meat—whether it's beef, lamb, chicken or fish—are naturally sugar free. Because of their high protein levels, these foods actually help to stabilize blood-sugar levels while keeping added sugar out of your diet. When cooking meat, make sure use sauces and marinades that are sugar-free. Cooking oils generally do not have any sugar.
Eggs are just fat (yolks) and protein (whites), with no sugar or carbohydrates. If you're dieting or fighting high cholesterol, remove the yolks. While eggs are free of sugar, they pack in a dozen vitamins and minerals vital to healthy body function. This includes B-complex vitamins that aid metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins and calcium for bones and teeth.
Sugar substitutes may be natural or synthetic, in which case they are called artificial sweeteners. Most sugar substitutes are far sweeter than sucrose (regular sugar), so a much smaller quantity is used to achieve the same level of sweetness. Sucralose, for example, is a sugar substitute commonly marketed as Splenda and is 600 times sweeter than sucrose. Sugar substitutes are useful in cooking and baking or to add to coffee and tea.
Soda, fruit juice, sweetened tea and milk all contain sugar. Consumption of sugary drinks has been singled out as a prime cause of America's obesity epidemic, and it's no surprise: a 2-liter bottle of Coca-Cola, for example, contains more than 200 grams of sugar. Regularly drinking soda, fruit juice and coffee or tea with sugar can cause weight gain and unhealthy rises and falls in blood-sugar, leading to diabetes. Water, seltzer, unsweetened tea and black coffee are all sugar free alternatives.
Dan Wiessner's first foray into journalism was in high school, and he hasn't stopped since. His short career has included stints at the New York State Capitol and as a contributor to hyper-local news site Patch. He also founded a small political monthly in Albany, N.Y. while attending SUNY Albany.