HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Sugar-Free Diet...help!

Hey all,
My doctor recently put me on a sugar-free diet for health reasons. She didn't explain this to me all that well, but she did mention that I'm prohibited from eating fruit, vegetables high in sugar (such as beets, carrots, and tomatoes), and bread (as well as the obvious foods containing refined sugars). I'm not keen on sugar substitutes (i.e. aspartame). I'm only on Day 3 and am already bored with eggs and salad. I'd be more than grateful if anyone could think of meal ideas that are a little more inspired!! (Ideas for all meals are appreciated, but I'm especially looking for ideas for breakfast, lunches-to-go, and snacks!)
TIA!!!
P.S. I like all cuisines and all foods and am reasonably capable in the kitchen!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Splenda! Best non-sugar sweetener. MAde from sugar, no icky aftertaste.

    I make a mean egg white omlette.

    Try roasting things such as broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, brussels sprouts, onions, peppers, turnips, cabbage, or more in a little olive oil, salt , garlic and rosemary.

    Avocados ok?

    Beef jerky is a good snack if you can find sugar fee!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      Be careful with the onions, they are more sugary than you might imagine, don't forget that they are a root. Turnips too. If you are craving an oniony flavor, Hing (asefortida) powder can provide that flavor.

      We have been pretty much eating this way for almost 3 years. Nuts like pistashios and walnuts and pecans are good snacks. Blanch and rinse and toast your walnuts and pecans and then toss while still warm with fresh herbs, butter and salt. We keep really good salamis and sausages around for nibbling. A favorite warmer weather dinner might be a cheeseburger salad. Use lettuce for wraps. As you are able to add some more carbs into your diet, corn tortillas are good. Look at the lable though, not all are equal.
      This winter braises can be your friends and look for some good chili recipes that don't call for tomaotes etc. Dreamfields pasta is something you will eventually be able to work in, I am making penne and cheese tonight with Dreamfields. I buy cream and half and half for cooking. They are much lower in sugars than milk. 2% or skim. You might pick up at your library an Atkins or Carpender cookbook. They will get you pointed in the right direction. I keep Atkins for Life on my shelf for when I need a bit of a hand out of a rut. It will soon become second nature to you. If you can find some Carbquick, Google for it, it is a good staple to have on hand and their recipe for cheese biscuits is wonderful.

      As for seeing a nutritionist, eh! There is no degree issued for that job. Any quack with theory can call themselves nutritionists. If you need further help consult a Registered Dietician. They are licensed by their state of residence. A hospital or your MD can put you in touch with one. They are the pros and your MD may have a preference as to which one you consult.

      1. re: Diana

        Ditto the Splenda suggestion. I don't use anything but! I make a great teriyaki sauce as follows:

        1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 1/4 cup dry white wine, ground or fresh ginger, granulated garlic and Splenda. Mix in a zip-lock bag. May be used for steaks, chicken (great for wings), pork, etc. Just marinate the meat inside the bag...no more than two hours for beef or up to 24 hours for chicken.

        For Super Bowl parties, I use an oven-safe bag, make a large batch of marinade and throw in five pounds of cleaned and separated chicken wings. I marinate them overnight in the 'fridge then on game day I put the whole thing in the oven and bake. So good, so easy and so tasty.

      2. Did the doctor give you a list of everything you ARE allowed to eat? I'd think that if it's that restrictive you really need to consult a nutritionist to make sure that you're not missing out on anything important nutritionally. If you can provide some kind of 'allowed list' we can give you more suggestions than working blind.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kajikit

          I wasn't given any sort of list...and now the doctor is on vacation for two weeks so I am sort of stuck with this. (Very frustrating.)
          So going off what little I gleaned from her, here is the list:
          In the 'No' pile: carrots, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, peas, beans, all fruit, 'white food' (i.e. white pasta), bread (though I'm not sure why), prepared meats (i.e. sausage).
          In the 'Yes' pile: all meat and fish (the only thing I don't eat is veal), seafood, all other veggies (unless I missed a high-sugar veg above), eggs...I'm sure there is more, but I'm having a hard time getting creative - which is why I need your help!
          Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

          1. re: chowchow985

            Oh well... start reading up on Atkins because it sounds like that's what she wants you to do.

            (oops... just noticed your doc is a 'she'.)

        2. yech, that's a pretty big diet change to be undergoing without really understanding why/how.

          are you off high glycemic index stuff too? like pastas?

          Non-tomato based cuisines like thai and chinese might be the way to go for lunch. Thai curry on a bed of brown rice is a yum lunch for the office. Definately time to get on the soup wagon -- homemade mushroom soup is great. Re-heatable casseroles too, like tuna casserole (I make it like a casserole shaped tuna melt, to avoid the pasta).

          good savoury snacks: endive or raddicio and hummus, nuts and seeds, cheeses, salamis

          I always find it easier to brainstorm when I say what I can have, rather than what I can't. For example, what are all the high protein dishes I can make? or what are all the cooked green leafies that I haven't had in a while? rather than 'what are all the non-X dishes I can have?

          1. It kind of sounds like low-carb to me... you might want to look into the South Beach diet and see if you can find recipes that would meet the restrictions that you are under. Good luck!

            1. Can you have 100% whole grain bread with no sugar in it? Ezekiel 4:9 bread is made from sprouted grains and has no sugar added. You can find it at Trader Joe's and other stores.

              I'm on a no-sugar, no-white-flour eating plan myself. I do eat fruit, though.

              Breakfast -- my new favorite thing is to saute some onion and garlic in a little olive oil, then add chopped artichoke hearts (I use canned), some spinach and then eggs (I'm also watching my fat intake, so I use 1 whole egg and 3 whites). Salt and pepper and it's wonderful. I also love oatmeal with plain yogurt, a few chopped nuts, sprinkle of Splenda. (I also add berries, but it sounds like you can't have ANY fruit?).

              For lunch -- chili, tuna/salmon salad, peanut butter (unsweetened, of course) in celery sticks, cottage cheese with chopped bell peppers, scallions, drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and some lemon zest. (That's one of my favorites at the momoent.)

              Snacks -- NUTS...almonds and walnuts are especially good. Celery with peanut butter or almond butter. Slice of cheese. Pickles.(There are even bread & butter pickles that are sweetened with Splenda and they are surprisingly tasty.) Slice of turkey.

              Dinner -- stir-fries!! All the good veggies you love plus tofu, meat, or shrimp. Soak the meat and tofu in a mix of soy, sesame oil and ginger. Delicious. Indian food is also your friend...Thai as well. You want to add lots of seasoning and spice since you're not having sugar anymore and your tastebuds will crave flavor.

              Hope this helps some.

              4 Replies
              1. re: wyf4lyf

                That artichoke breakfast dish sounds yummy!!
                What kind of yogurt do you use? (I was under the impression that even natural yogurt was high in sugars).

                1. re: chowchow985

                  I can't speak about the sugar content in yogurt; sorry. I've fallen in love with Fage Greek Yogurt; they sell that at Trader Joe's. Even the nonfat is rich and creamy. The lowfat is even more wonderful. For a real splurge you can go for the full fat, but it's VERY high in fat.

                  1. re: wyf4lyf

                    The full fat has 6 g. sugar (would be lactose, not added sugar) per serving. And a whopping 20 g of fat. I know this because I asked my husband to bring me some, and I didn't know until the 2nd container that he had not gotten the low fat - yikes!!

                    The low fat (2%) has 8 g. of carbs and 4 g. fat.

                    Fat free has 6 g. carbs.

                    I know on a lot of the low-carb/no carb diets, they allow tons of fat. I still tend to prefer to eat low/reasonable amounts rather than go crazy on them. (Old habits die hard!)

                    Oh, and the Fage is outstanding. I don't know how I've lived without it all these years!

                  2. re: chowchow985

                    I remember reading somewhere (lowcarbluxury.com, maybe?) that plain yogurt is kind of strange in that the sugars end up "not counting" much because of the way our bodies process it. (Kind of like how you can cheat on certain foods and subtract the fiber from the carbs to end up with an adjusted carb count.)