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5 foods you thought you couldn’t eat when you quit sugar

By Camilla Wagstaff |


I Quit Sugar: Mexican Chicken + Sweet Potato Boats

Think quitting sugar means quitting everything delicious? Think again!

In fact, you CAN even have bread, chocolate and a glass of wine when you quit sugar (cue a chorus of Hallelujah!).

But there are some other quirky foods we get asked about all the time. You’ll be relieved to know you can eat these foods when you quit sugar, too!

1. Bananas.

While dried bananas are a no-go zone, a little bit of fresh banana is absolutely fine. That’s because unlike dried fruit, the fructose in fresh fruit is bound up with water and other good stuff that slows the sugar dumpage on your liver.

Bananas are a little higher on the fructose-o-meter though, so stick to half a banana per serve.

2. Cheese.

“Grate” news! Cheese and other dairy isn’t off the menu when you quit sugar.

The sugar in dairy is mostly lactose which, unlike fructose, the body can metabolise just fine. Steer clear of low-fat dairy though, as these products are often pumped full of refined sugar to make up for the lost texture and flavour. Plus, the healthy fats in full-fat dairy will keep you fuller for longer (and they taste delicious!).

3. Pasta.

Pasta and other carbs are pretty low in sugar, so eating them in moderation is a-okay. They do convert to glucose (the sugar all cells use for short-term energy) in the body though, so too many at once can muck about with our blood glucose levels.

We recommend eating your pasta with plenty of veg, protein and some healthy fat (hello, Parmesan!). And if you need a little inspiration for your next pasta night

4. Lemons.

Contrary to what you might think, lemons and other citrus fruits are surprisingly low in fructose. Plus lemons offer up a seriously healthy dose of vitamin C, potassium and magnesium.

So when life hands you lemons, you can go ahead and make (sugar-free) lemonade!

5. Sweet potato.

Don’t be fooled by its name, we’re totally sweet on sweet potato (and other sweet veggies like beetroot and pumpkin, for that matter).

One medium baked sweet potato contains less than two teaspoons of sugar, and most of that is glucose, not fructose (the one we’re trying to quit). Plus, sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fibre, vitamins and minerals – one cup contains 214 per cent of your daily vitamin A (great for eye and skin health). Why not give these Sweet Potato Boats a try tonight?

Mexican Chicken and Sweet Potato Boats

Sweet Potato Chicken Boats IQS Recipe

This article was originally published in July 2016. We updated it in April 2017.

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