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Home/Blog/No-Sugar Diet Benefits and How to Follow It

No-Sugar Diet Benefits and How to Follow It

By Ethan Boldt

June 15, 2024

No sugar diet

When you hear “no sugar diet,” what we’re really talking about is no added sugar diet, as it’s nearly impossible to entirely go without sugar if you eat food. Milk, fruit and most vegetables, for example, contain natural sugars.

A no-sugar diet essentially aims to remove added sugars and sweeteners, in particular in packaged foods, as well as sugary recipes. Sometimes so-called hidden sugars surprise us, as sweeteners like sucrose, fructose and high-fructose corn syrup are in a myriad of products and processed foods.

In general, Americans consume too much sugar. The average adult has about 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. But how much sugar per day should you consume? The American Heart Association recommends that adult women should consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day, and no more than nine teaspoons for men.

Excessive sugar can negatively affect many areas of the body and its function, including blood sugar, energy level, body weight, hormones, heart, liver, cognitive function, outlook and inflammation.

Let’s examine how to lower sugar consumption naturally, plus explore the benefits and principles of a no-sugar diet. You’ll notice how your “sweet tooth” becomes less noticeable over time, the longer you maintain reduced sugar habits.

Remember, you should always consult your healthcare professional before beginning or changing any new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including sugar intake.

What Is a Sugar-Free Diet?

A no-sugar diet or no added sugar diet typically limits all sources of added sugar (like soda, snack bars and desserts, for example) as well as hidden sugar foods (like breads and frozen dinners). It can sometimes recommend a reduction in high-carbohydrate foods (like certain grains and fruits).

One can eliminate basically all sources of sugar from your diet, including most fruits and even some vegetables, or to only eliminate sweetened processed foods that tend to be high in empty calories.

Regardless of which approach is taken, there are lots of benefits to consuming more satisfying, nourishing foods in the place of sugar, such as lean proteins and healthy fats. Most sugar-free diets don't require calorie counting, since eliminating processed foods is usually enough to produce results on its own.

Benefits of a Sugar-Free Diet

  • Healthy weight management support, including lower total calorie consumption

  • Maintaining already-healthy blood sugar levels and a healthy response to inflammation

  • Support for heart and liver health

  • Improved outlook

  • Balanced hormone levels support

  • Improved energy levels

Hidden Sugar Foods and Low-Sugar Replacements

  • Breakfast cereals, including hot cereals like flavored oatmeal — replace with regular oatmeal

  • Coffee drinks — replace with classic coffee drinks like espresso, cappuccino or Americano, with regular milk and no sugar added

  • Packaged breads, including “whole grain” kinds — replace with no-flour bread like Ezekiel

  • Snack or granola bars — replace with mixed nuts

  • Sports drinks — replace with Multi Collagen Advanced Hydrate or make your own

  • Protein bars and meal replacements — replace with a homemade protein bar

  • Flavored yogurts — replace with plain yogurt

  • Canned fruits in syrup — replace with regular fruit, such as low-sugar berries

  • Frozen meals — replace with home cooked meals with real ingredients only

  • Bottled sauces, dressings, condiments and marinades — replace with Paleo options

  • Dried fruit and other fruit snacks — replace with nuts and jerkies

  • Most cocktails — replace with low-sugar mocktails like a frozen watermelon margarita

How to Consume Less Sugar

1. Read ingredient labels

It’s important to know what's in the food you consume. It’s impossible to avoid all packaged foods, so when you do buy them, read up.

2. Eat mostly whole foods (and cook!)

Go to your farmer’s market or grocery store and stock up with seasonal vegetables and fruits, along with some lean proteins (chicken, beef, fish, etc.). This should be the foundation of your daily diet.

3. Eat more protein

Most of us don’t get enough protein. And while high sugar intake is directly linked to increased appetite and weight gain, following a diet low in added sugar but high in protein and fiber may do the opposite: reduce hunger and promote fullness.

How much protein? Having about 0.75 grams of protein a day per pound of body weight can help to replace some of the extra carbohydrates and sugar in your diet, by contributing to you feeling fuller overall.

Some of the best protein sources include: meat, poultry, fish, yogurt, eggs, beans, nuts, and high-quality protein powders like Multi Collagen Protein, Bone Broth Protein and Plant Protein+.

4. Get enough fiber

To keep your appetite in check, aim to get about 35–40 grams of fiber per day. Start by consuming more high-fiber foods like fresh vegetables and nuts and seeds, such as chia seeds and flaxseeds.

5. Substitute full-fat for low-fat

Along with the specific low-sugar replacements above, it’s recommended to avoid most “low-fat” foods that often contain high amounts of sugar. Yogurt, salad, breakfast cereals, peanut butter, cereal bars, etc. have low-fat versions that are all higher in sugar than their full-fat counterparts.

Full-fat varieties also help you keep you fuller longer and don’t affect overall blood sugar levels as much.

6. Remove high-sugar drinks

Don’t buy soda, juice and tea or coffee with sugar. Don’t even have diet soda, as that artificial sweetener taste keeps your sweet tooth primed.

Instead, have water or mix something like Multi Collagen Advanced Hydrate or Multi Collagen Protein Strawberry Lemonade into a cold glass of water.

7. Drink enough water

Water can help keep one satisfied and hydrated. Aim to have about eight glasses per day. More when exercising or during warm months.

8. Try liquid and powdered stevia

If you do need to sweeten foods and drinks, use stevia instead of artificial sweeteners. A little goes a long way.

9. Avoid most alcohol

Mixed drinks contain plenty of sugar, and most wine can also contain sugar. Instead, go with low-sugar mocktails, no-sugar wines or beer.

10. Limit packaged foods

Many processed foods not only contain both natural and artificial sugars, they also contain a host of additives, preservatives, flavorings, emulsifiers and other substances. They should be limited as much as possible.

11. Reduce sugary snacks and desserts

Many snacks and desserts typically are without much nutrition and have too much sugar. Think donuts, cookies, cakes and ice creams. Instead, make healthy, low sugar versions of all those. See these summer dessert recipes.

Alternatively, skip it altogether or have a simple dessert of just fresh fruit, Greek yogurt with some berries or just a square of dark chocolate with 70 percent cacao or more.

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