Despite its natural sugar content, fresh fruit is still encouraged on a no-sugar diet.
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A no-sugar, no-flour diet might sound like it's automatically low in carbohydrates, but that isn't necessarily the case. Even when you eliminate sugar and flour, you can still enjoy healthy whole grains such as rice, oats and corn, plus starchy vegetables and fruit. However, it's not always easy to eat a no-sugar, no-flour diet. When you follow this eating plan, you have to navigate some 61 different names for sugar that appear on food labels, including sucrose, barley malt, maltose and rice syrup.
In theory, all proteins should be free from flour and sugar. However, sources of flour and sugar can sneak into certain products, including bacon, sausage and any breaded products, such as chicken nuggets or battered fish. When you're on a no-flour and no-sugar diet, stick to protein options that haven't been processed, such as steak, pork chops, pork loin, chicken breasts, chicken thighs and seafood like salmon and shrimp. Vegetarian sources of protein include eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds. When preparing protein-rich dishes that have sauces or other additions, double-check that you're not inadvertently adding sugar or flour to a sugar- and flour-free dish.
Find the Good Fat
Like protein, sources of fat should theoretically be free from sugar and flour. If, however, you eat your forms of fat in baked goods, ice cream and battered foods, you'll be eating sugar and flour, too. Instead, choose fat in unprocessed varieties. This includes avocados, fatty fish such as salmon (which also contains protein), nuts, olive oil and olives. If you pick up an item that has been packaged, check out the ingredients list to see if it contains flour or any of those 60-plus names for sugar in the product.
Go for Healthy Carbs
When it comes to being sugar- and flour-free, finding healthy carbohydrates is the trickiest part. If you want to be totally free from all sugars, it requires eliminating the natural sugars in foods such as fruit or starchy vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes. However, those foods also provide important nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and they contain fiber, which stems the impact that the sugar has on your bloodstream. If you choose to include these natural sugars in your diet, you can enjoy not only grains such as quinoa, oats, rice and corn, but also all fruits and vegetables, including starchy root vegetables like winter squashes.
Sometimes, putting all the information together into a solid meal can be tough. Meal ideas for a no-sugar, no-flour diet include:
- Breakfast: If you don't plan to avoid all grains or fruit, enjoy steel-cut oatmeal topped with berries for breakfast. For a lower-carbohydrate option, scramble eggs with vegetables and pair with sugar-free bacon.
- Lunch: Combine cooked chicken, celery, grapes and pecans with mayonnaise (check the label for hidden sugars), salt, pepper and paprika for a sugar- and flour-free chicken salad. Eat it over lettuce rather than on bread. A big salad full of vegetables and a source of protein like hard-boiled eggs or sliced steak is also a healthy option.
- Dinner: Make it easy on yourself by following a simple supper template: non-processed protein option, non-wheat grain and a vegetable. For example, this might be fish with brown rice and broccoli or grilled steak with quinoa and asparagus.