What not to eat on a sugar free diet

Are you on a sugar free diet or but not exactly sure which foods you cannot eat? Our handy food list shows you exactly which foods contain sugar and should therefore not be consumed when you are sugar free. If you are just starting your diet or you are doing our 1 week sugar detox, you can also check out our sugar free shopping list.

Foods you shouldn’t eat when you’re on a sugar free diet

Added sugars

Of course the most important foods to avoid when you are doing a no sugar diet are any foods with added sugars. Always check the label of anything you buy to see if your product contains any of the 50 names that sugar hides under on packaging. Some of the most common ingredients to watch out for are sugar, dextrose, glucose syrup, fructose syrup, corn syrup, cane sugar, brown sugar and honey.

Refined flours and grains

Refined flours and grains are processed forms of whole grains. To make refined flour, the hull of the grain is removed, taking out most of the fiber and also many nutrients from the grain. The carbohydrate content of the refined grain is the same, but it is absorbed much quicker due to the low fiber content. Some refined flours are absorbed into the bloodstream almost as quickly as pure glucose. Foods to watch out for: white bread, white rice, white pasta and things like pretzels, bagels, cakes which also usually contain added sugars.


Many store bought drinks contain added sugars. Liquid sugar is one of the unhealthiest sugars for the body because it is absorbed into the bloodstream immediately. One thing to avoid is obviously soda, but also energy drinks, ice tea and fruit juice often have a high sugar content. Even fruit juice that doesn’t have added sugars, such as orange juice, is essentially liquid sugar. Most store bought orange juice is made from orange concentrate, which is essentially sugar with an orange taste, and water. Avoid: soda, fruit juice, ice tea, yoghurt drinks.

Orange juice
Due to its low fiber content, oange juice is usually little more than liquid sugar

Alcohol does not always have additional sugars. A lot of beer and wine is free from added sugars. However, alcohol is converted by the body to sugar and can therefore have the same effect on the body as sugar. Many liqueurs and spirits also contain added sugars.


Many supermarket bought condiments contain high amounts of added sugar. Think for example of sauces, salad dressings and marinades. Always check the ingredient list to make sure they are sugar free. Many manufacturers these days add dressings to salads in a separate bag which makes it easier to just throw them away. If you are in a restaurant, always ask for a sugar free dressing. This can be even pure olive oil. You can also just ask for the dressing separately. Always double check if these condiments are sugar free: mayonnaise, mustard, pesto and any sauce or dressing.

Salad dressing
Even if it’s not sweet, salad dressing usually contains added sugar
Bread spreads

Of course you need to be careful with bread, but if you have found or baked good whole grain bread, be sure to double check if your bread spread is truly sugar free. Most bread spreads like chocolate spread, peanut butter or hummus contain tons of added sugars. The best option of course is to make your own chocolate spread, peanut butter or hummus so you have full control over the ingredients.

Also make sure you check out or list of foods to eat in moderation when on a sugar free diet.

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