Sugar is widely used in many of our favorite foods and drinks. Sugar consumption is increasing globally. Recent national surveys revealed that an average Indian eats almost 18 kg of sugar per head consumption, with approximately ten spoons per day per head consumption of sugar per day. The prevalence of obesity and overweight has climbed nearly four times in the last 15 years.
In addition, all of us consume considerable amounts of sugar in hidden forms from different processed food items, which has been shown to contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, increased inflammation, and tooth decay.
A low-sugar diet can help check total sugar intake and satisfy sugar cravings while eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight. Low-sugar diets are comparatively easier to follow than no-sugar diets in which fruits and vegetables containing naturally occurring sugars are also restricted. They are specifically beneficial for people that aim to lose weight or are diagnosed with diabetes.
In this blog, we will explore the low-sugar diet food list, what to eat, and what to avoid.
What is a Low Sugar Diet?
A diet that involves decreasing the consumption of foods containing either natural or artificial sugars is referred to as a low-sugar diet.
Low-sugar diets came into existence in response to the current high-added-sugar intake trends. The main objective of a low-sugar diet is to keep blood glucose levels in a healthy range.
If you are looking for a diet that is healthy and easy to follow, this low-sugar diet food list is perfect for you. You will never have to worry about feeling hungry or deprived again.
This list of low-sugar foods is designed to make it easier to follow a healthy diet. It includes all the foods allowed on the diet and foods that should be avoided to lose weight quickly and easily.
Low Sugar Diet Food List: What to Eat
Start your low-sugar diet today with this list of approved foods!
1. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also low in calories and sugar. Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet is essential to a low-sugar diet. Some fruits and vegetables that are low in sugar include:
Fruits: Apple, berries, avocado, peach, plum, melons, pomegranate, orange, guava, and kiwi.
Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, capsicum, bell peppers, sweet potato, mustard leaves, bathua, bottle gourd (ghia), ridge gourd (tori), bitter gourd (karela), brinjal, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, zucchini, green peas, green beans, and ladyfinger.
2. Whole grains and Cereals
Whole grains are an excellent fiber source, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full. They also contain vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health. Whole wheat, rice, quinoa, oats, millet, barley, and buckwheat are some examples of whole grains.
3. Protein-rich foods
Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. It also helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Lean proteins low in sugar include Whole pulses, legumes, beans, eggs, fish, chicken, tofu, and lean meat.
4. Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are great additions to a low-sugar diet because they add flavor and depth to meals without relying on added sugars. Here are some herbs and spices that can be used to enhance the taste of food while maintaining a low-sugar diet: Ginger, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, saunf or fennel, allspice, chilli, cumin, turmeric, rosemary, thyme and asafoetida or hing, basil, oregano, bay leaf, black pepper, and cardamom.
5. Dairy Products
Dairy products can be a part of a low-sugar diet, but it’s essential to choose wisely, as many dairy products contain added sugars. Here are a few: Milk, curd, Greek yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese (paneer).
6. Non-Dairy Milk
Non-dairy milk can be an excellent choice for those following a low-sugar diet, as wide varieties are naturally low in sugar. Here are some non-dairy milk options: Coconut milk, kefir, oat milk, soy milk, almond, and cashew milk.
7. Fats and Oils
Fats and oils are essential to a healthy diet and can be included in a low-sugar diet. A few of them are Olive oil, mustard oil, avocado oil, cold-pressed vegetable oils, desi ghee, and coconut oil.
8. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber and can be included as a part of a low-sugar diet. Some nuts and seeds that are low in sugar include Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, melon seeds, pistachios, hemp seeds, peanut butter, walnut butter, and almond butter.
Low Sugar Diet Food List: What to Avoid
1. Sugar Drinks
Sugary drinks are one of the primary sources of added sugar in our diets. They are high in calories and sugar and provide little nutritional value. Some examples of sugary drinks to avoid include sodas, canned fruit juices, sweetened mocktails, sugary shakes, and smoothies.
2. Processed Foods
Processed foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. They are also low in nutrients and can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. Some examples of processed foods to avoid include sweetened breakfast cereals, fast food, and chips.
3. Sugar-loaded Desserts
With their mouth-watering taste and delicious flavors, desserts are everyone’s favorite. Cakes, pastries, cookies, biscuits, muffins, pies, and bread are some sugar-loaded desserts to avoid.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial and natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup are often used as sugar substitutes. However, they can still contribute to high sugar intake and should be limited to a low-sugar diet.
White sugar, Brown sugar, Honey, Maple syrup, Agave nectar, and Corn syrup are a few examples of Artificial sweeteners.
Alcohol is typically high in sugar and calories and should be consumed in moderation as a part of a low-sugar diet.
Benefits of Low Sugar Diet
A low-sugar diet can offer a wide range of health benefits, including the following:
1. Improved blood sugar control
Excessive sugar consumption can lead to high blood sugar levels, increasing the risk of developing diabetes. Limiting sugar intake can help stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes.
2. Weight loss
Sugar is calorie-dense and can contribute to weight gain when consumed in excess. A low-sugar diet can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
3. Reduced risk of heart disease
A high-sugar diet has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. A low-sugar diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease by improving blood lipid levels and reducing inflammation.
4. Better dental health
Sugar is a significant contributor to tooth decay. Limiting sugar intake can help improve dental health and prevent cavities.
5. Improved energy levels
Refined sugar can cause energy crashes and fatigue. A low-sugar diet can help maintain stable energy levels throughout the day.
Tips for reducing added sugars from your diet.
These tips can be helpful if you intend to adopt a low-sugar diet, as they can aid in reducing the consumption of added sugars.
- Swapping sugary drinks with naturally low-sugar beverages, such as water, coconut water, buttermilk, green tea, herbal teas, lemon water, and unsweetened sparkling water, can be a helpful strategy for reducing your sugar intake as a part of a low-sugar diet.
- If you crave sugary desserts and sweets, try healthier alternatives that are low in sugar and can still satiate your cravings. Some of these options include homemade fruit yogurt, fresh fruits, dark chocolate (with over 70% cocoa), dates, and high-protein bars. By incorporating these alternatives into your diet, you can enjoy sweet treats while adhering to a low-sugar diet.
- Substitute sugary spreads and sauces with low-sugar alternatives containing herbs and spices such as mustard sauce, hummus, avocado spread, unsweetened nut butter, and ricotta cheese.
- Incorporate protein-rich foods into every meal, as research indicates that a protein-rich diet can effectively reduce food cravings.
- Make sure to carefully read the nutrition labels and ingredient lists of packaged foods before adding them to your shopping cart. Check the nutrition table for the amount of added sugar in the product and other forms of sugar such as high fructose corn syrup, inverted sugar, dextrose, molasses, caramel, cane juice, and maltose may be present.
- It’s best to avoid canned fruits and vegetables that are preserved in sugary syrups. However, if you find them more convenient, opt for products labeled as “no added sugar.”
- Studies have revealed that a disrupted sleep schedule can disturb the balance of hunger hormones and cause an increase in cravings for high-sugar and fatty foods. If you find it difficult to resist sugary foods, ensuring adequate sleep may help you regain control over your food choices.
Risks for high sugar intake
While small amounts of sugar are essential for our body to function properly, excessive sugar consumption can adversely affect our health.
Here are some of the common risks associated with high sugar intake.
Weight gain and obesity
One of the most significant risks associated with high sugar intake is weight gain and obesity. Consuming too much sugar can lead to excess calorie intake, which can cause you to gain weight. Sugary foods and drinks tend to be high in calories but low in nutrients, which means they don’t keep you full for long and can cause you to overeat.
Increased risk of type 2 diabetes
High sugar intake can also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. When you consume too much sugar, your body becomes less sensitive to insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. This can lead to insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Sugary foods and drinks can also contribute to tooth decay. When you consume sugar, the bacteria in your mouth feed on it, producing acid that can erode your tooth enamel. Over time, this can lead to cavities and tooth decay.
Increased risk of heart disease
High sugar intake has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Excessive sugar consumption can lead to high blood sugar levels, which can cause inflammation and damage to your blood vessels. This can increase your risk of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions.
Increased risk of certain cancers
Some evidence suggests that high sugar intake may increase your risk of certain types of cancer, including pancreatic, colorectal, and breast cancer. While more research is needed in this area, it is clear that excessive sugar consumption can adversely affect your health.
Mood swings and depression
Consuming too much sugar can also have adverse effects on your mental health. High sugar intake can cause blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, which can lead to mood swings and feelings of fatigue and depression.
Addiction and dependence
Sugar can be addictive, and consuming large amounts of it can lead to dependence. Over time, your body may become accustomed to high sugar levels, and you may find it challenging to reduce your intake.
The low sugar diets encourage fresh, unprocessed food with the idea that this way of eating can effortlessly become a long-term lifestyle. These diets are easy to follow and can help with weight loss goals. Currently, no known health hazards are associated with low-sugar diets. However, if you intend to adopt a low-sugar diet, planning carefully according to your daily calorie and nutrient requirements is recommended.
What foods should I avoid if I have low blood sugar?
Foods that are not suitable for people with hypoglycemia to eat because they can cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate significantly include:
White bread, white rice, and pasta.
Sweetened breakfast cereals.
Honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup.
What can you eat on a low sugar diet?
The Best Foods to Lower (or Regulate) Your Blood Sugar
Broccoli and broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane is a type of isothiocyanate that has blood-sugar-reducing properties.
Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds.
Nuts and nut butter.
Beans and lentils.
Kimchi and sauerkraut.
What should be avoided for sugar patient?
What foods and drinks should I limit if I have diabetes?
fried foods and other foods high in saturated fat and trans fat.
foods high in salt, also called sodium.
sweets, such as baked goods, candy, and ice cream.
beverages with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks.
What food can drop blood sugar fast?
So, what foods help lower blood sugar?
Beans and lentils.
Salmon and other fatty fish.
Nuts and nut butters.
Seeds and seed butters.
Unsweetened yogurt and kefir.
Are bananas good for low blood sugar?
Most healthy people only need a quick high-carb snack, such as an apple or banana, to help get their blood sugar back up to normal.