Eliminating sugar from your diet can significantly improve both your health and the state of your waistline. While many foods have small amounts of naturally occurring sugar, you can avoid anything that has added sugar, or that is very high in natural sugars, such as dried fruit and fruit juice. Avoiding processed foods makes cutting sugar out of your life much easier.
Make the Most of Meat
Lean, unprocessed meats do not contain any sugar. Beef, chicken, lamb, pork, veal, rabbit, turkey, salmon and tuna are completely sugar-free, and you can prepare appetizing meals with them without adding any sugar. Steer clear of processed or canned meats such as bacon, cured ham, chorizo, pancetta and sausage, as they can have sugar added to act as a preservative.
Eat Your Veggies
Nonstarchy vegetables have fractional amounts of natural fructose -- less than a gram of sugar per 50-gram serving. Starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and pumpkins, have a higher sugar content. The best vegetable options include avocados, artichokes, asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, collard greens, kale, lettuce, turnips, parsnips, mushrooms, radishes, tomatoes and squash. You can also use frozen vegetables if it's not possible to buy everything fresh.
Don't Ditch Dairy
Natural, unflavored dairy foods are free from added sugar. Although milk and milk products contain lactose -- a naturally occurring carbohydrate that is converted to sugar in the body -- it's a fairly small amount. For example, a cup of fat-free milk has 12 grams of sugar. Dairy products are high in protein, meaning that small servings are filling and can keep you satisfied for long periods. Choose milk, cheese and yogurt that has no added fruits or other ingredients. If you're limiting sugar -- both natural and added -- for health reasons, keep your intake of dairy low.
Nuts and oils are also sugar-free and can be used in a versatile range of foods. Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts and macadamias are high in polyunsaturated fats, making them a satisfying and healthy snack. Choose unsalted, unflavored options to avoid added sugars. Additionally, oils can add flavor and improved texture to foods without adding any sugar: coconut oil, olive oil and nut oils are flavorful and healthy. You can use them to cook meats, add flavor to salads or replace dipping sauces.