Protein can be sourced from a variety of foods that do not contain sugar. Largely, these are the high-protein foods of the meat and seafood families, although there is also a more limited number of vegetarian options for sugar-free and high-protein foods. All nutritional information is given for foods without any additional sauces or seasonings that may add sugar content.
Protein is necessary for your body to grow and also for the regeneration of damaged tissue or organs. Recommended daily protein intake ranges from just under 10 grams per day for an infant up to six months old, to 71 grams per day for a pregnant or lactating woman. The average adult requires between 46 and 56 grams of protein daily. While maintaining a sufficient protein intake, an individual may wish to reduce or eliminate sugar in the diet. Sugar may be avoided for a multitude of reasons ranging from a diabetes diagnosis to a concern for dental health.
The following meats are sugar-free and high in protein, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standard nutrient database: chicken thigh drumstick, giblets, or breast meat, turkey, pork loin, beef round or beef sirloin and lamb meat. Each of these meats has a protein content of between approximately 30 and 60 percent.
Seafood is also a rich source of protein, and is generally leaner than many meats, red meats, in particular. The USDA states that the following seafoods are typically sugar-free: mollusks and clams, cooked pollock, halibut, salmon or roughy, Pacific rockfish, canned or fresh salmon, trout and tuna. Although fish and seafood are lean protein sources, without typically containing any sugar, certain fish in certain areas may have high mercury levels in their flesh. For this reason, pregnant women are cautioned to limit consumption of fish, which may contain mercury.
Vegetarian Protein Sources
Certain cheeses are both high in protein and free from sugar. Sugar-free cheeses include cheddar, Colby, American, mozzarella and blue cheese, according to the USDA. Eggs and tofu are virtually sugar-free. Refried beans are 99.5 percent sugar-free while containing 13.6 grams of protein per cup serving.
It is important to consider the difference between products labeled as sugar-free, and those that are carbohydrate-free. Sugar is a refined or simple form of carbohydrate, and pure sugar is considered to be a food of minimal nutritional value. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, are generally considered to be beneficial to health. Therefore, a food that contains complex carbohydrates but no pure sugar is sugar-free. You should always consult your own doctor for personalized medical advice before making any major changes to your diet.