Is there really such a thing as sugar free foods? Well, very few probably. Given that sugars are found naturally in so many foods it is near impossible to eat a diet that is completely sugar free.
Let’s first take a look at whole foods and check their sugar contents or lack thereof.
Interestingly when I googled “is there sugar in meat?” I got different results. The bulk of the results said no. But then there were some more technical sites that said yes, red meats are rich in a sugar called Neu5Gc. There was a lot of conflicting information mainly as to whether this Neu5Gc caused inflammation and was a contributing risk factor for some cancers. However the common takeaway (not the fast food kind!) was that consuming small or moderate amounts of lean, unprocessed red meat in addition to other healthy food and lifestyle choices was a good idea.
Poultry has extremely low levels of sugar, if any at all. What you need to watch out for with meat and poultry is sugar (and other additives) that may be added in the processing, preserving, glazing or marinating.
*If you are after some no, or low sugar, glaze/marinade options you could check out some My Sugar Free Options listed below.
Fish has no, or negligible, amounts of sugar depending on the fish. So this is one heck of a good low carb protein option.
Tofu is a plant-based protein made from soybeans and is very low carb therefore minimal sugar. Approximately 1.8-2.0g of carbohydrate per 100g.
Most varieties of nuts are high in fibre and low in sugar – so are great in terms of offering flavour and nutrition, including beneficial fats. It varies between types, but carbohydrates in nuts can be between 4g to 26g per 100g (pistachios = 18g, cashews = 26g) So best to do your own research and exercise portion control (hard when they can be so easy to just keep popping in your mouth!).
Like nuts, seeds are extremely nutritious and the sugar content in seeds varies, but most carbohydrates in seeds are fibre. Chia seeds are lower in carbs: approx 8g per 100g and sunflower seeds higher, approx 11g.
Including beans, lentils and chickpeas, legumes all naturally contain some sugar (ranging from approximately 1.0g to 12g per 100g). They are a rich source of fibre, B vitamins and protein and are a good quality carbohydrate option.
Most vegetables contain some sugar but, for the record, we need to eat more vegetables not less as they are a fantastic source of healthy fibre, vitamins and minerals. If you are really keen to know, here are some vegetables with higher sugar (ranging from 1.5g to 8g per 100g): carrots, potatoes, onions, kumara, corn, peas, pumpkin, swedes, tomato, capsicum. Some of the root vegetables are known to raise blood sugar, so if you are aiming for low carb, low GI foods – do your research on those and how they affect your blood sugar. As for the sugar content of other vegetables – don’t stress about it one bit!
Like vegetables, fruit contains sugar known as fructose. We see a wide range from less than 1g per 100g (avocado) to 16g per 100g (grapes). Also, like veges, fruit is a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, however if you are looking to keep your sugar intake down, perhaps check the sugar content of fruit and limit your servings per day depending on your activity levels.
A little bit trickier – milk and it’s derivatives contain the natural sugar: lactose. And again we get a big range (talking no added sugars here), from low fat cottage cheese to whipping cream. We’re looking at an approximate range of 0.5g to 10g per 100g with 1% fat milk being approximately 5g per 100g. If you are a dairy eater/drinker then you’ll know or be interested to know that dairy is said to be a rich source of calcium, protein, potassium and other micronutrients.
Now, here at My Sugar Free, we don’t sell any of the above. (Unless you count our Vitawerx Protein Milk and White Chocolate Macadamias and Almonds… To. Die. For (Just Saying)).
And not all our products are sugar free. Yep I can hear you say it…. “Whaaat??” Yes, those products that we have, that do have sugar are because the sugars are naturally occurring from additives like milk or fruit. We try and only stock products that are less than 10g per 100g (trying to get way less than that). Where they might have more sugar are those supplement foods like our Beetroot Juice Powder which is very concentrated and highly nutritious.
All our product pages have a list of ingredients and a nutrition information panel so that wherever you are on the ‘sugar free’ spectrum, if you need a sweet treat or product in addition to whichever healthy regime you are following, you will be sure to find it at My Sugar Free!
* Possibly try some of these My Sugar Free products to make a very low sugar marinade or glaze:
- Queen Sugar Free Maple Syrup
- Callowfit Smoky BBQ
- Sweetnz Allulose
- Nothing Naughty Low Carb Sweet Chili Sauce