Sugar and refined carbohydrates are found in many packaged and processed foods. Eating excess added sugar and simple carbohydrates such as white flour can lead to health problems such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The American Heart Association advises that women and men respectively limit their added sugar intake to approximately 100 calories or 6 teaspoons and 150 calories or 9 teaspoons. If you are diabetic, have a gluten allergy or are concerned about your health, your doctor may advise you to stop eating sugar and foods made from refined and other flours.
Check food labels for both added and natural sugars such as raw sugar, cane sugar, molasses and fruit juice concentrates. Look for ingredients that have the ending "ose," such as sucrose, maltose and fructose. Also look for other sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup and corn sweetener Avoid products that have these ingredients.
Eat oatmeal made from plain steel-cut oats instead of packaged instant oats. Packaged oatmeal and cereals contain added sugars and sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup. Sweeten your oatmeal with fresh fruit such as bananas or berries.
Substitute unsweetened applesauce for sugar in your baking recipes. Add sweetness and flavor with extracts of almond, orange, lemon or vanilla in your dessert recipes instead of sugar.
Flavor beverages with spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg powder instead of sugar. Also try natural sweeteners such as honey in your tea and coffee instead of table sugar.
Eat gluten-free pasta and bread. These products are made without wheat, barley or rye flour and contain spelt or oat flour instead. Also look for diabetic food products that do not contain added sugar. These items are commonly found in health-food stores.
Thicken soups, sauces, salad dressing, gravies with powdered oats, ground flaxseeds or boiled and pureed cauliflower and other vegetables instead of flour. Avoid ready-made and packaged condiments and sauces as these contain added sugars and flour.
- Reduce or eliminate packaged and processed foods to avoid added sugars and flours. Eat more whole foods and fresh produce instead.
- Make your own desserts instead of purchasing store-bought baked goods to avoid flour and sugar.
- If you have an allergy or intolerance to gluten, consult your doctor or nutritionist about a daily meal plan that eliminates wheat flour and other grain products. It is important to learn to recognize what products contain wheat flour and gluten.
- If you have diabetes, your doctor may advise eliminating or reducing foods with both added and natural sugars, including honey and fruit.
Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.