What is Sugar Free at the Grocery Store: Beans Edition

What is Sugar Free at the Grocery Store: Beans Edition

This is the start of a new feature here at My Sugar Free Journey.  It’s tough to know exactly what to buy at the grocery store so we are starting lists of products that contain no added fructose.  There are a few sugars that are on our “Acceptable Sugars” list and if a product contains one of those sugars, it’s listed in parenthesis.  Most of these products can be found at Walmart (because that’s almost my second home) and if you’d like, you can search for coupons for them here.  If you see a product I missed, let me know and I’ll add it.

Sugar Free Black Beans

  • Bush’s Best Seasoned Recipe Black Beans (Contains Maltodextrin)
  • Bush’s Best Reduced Sodium Black Beans
  • Bush’s Best Black Beans
  • Goya Black Beans
  • Great Value Black Beans
  • Great Value Reduced Sodium Black Beans
  • Ranch Style Black Beans
  • Wild Oats Organic Black Beans

Sugar Free Black Eyed Peas

  • Bush’s Best Black Eyed Peas
  • Bush’s Best Black Eyed Peas with Snaps
  • Bush’s Best Black Eyed Peas with Bacon
  • Great Value Black Eyed Peas

Sugar Free Butter Beans/Lima Beans/Great Northern Beans/Navy Beans

  • Allen’s Lima Beans
  • Bush’s Best Large Butter Beans (Contains Dextrose)
  • Bush’s Best Navy Beans
  • Bush’s Best Great Northern Beans
  • Bush’s best Reduced Sodium Great Northern Beans
  • Del Monte Lima Beans
  • Great Value Great Northern Beans
  • Great Value Navy Beans

Sugar Free Cannellini Beans

  • Bush’s Best Cannellini Beans
  • Goya Cannellini Beans

Sugar Free Chick Peas (Garbanzo Beans)

  • Bush’s Best Garbanzo beans
  • Goya Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans)
  • Great Value Chickpeas
  • Sam’s Choice Organic Chickpeas

Sugar Free Green Beans

  • Allen’s cut Italian Green Beans
  • Del Monte Cut Green beans
  • Del Monte French Style Green Beans
  • Great Value Cut Green Beans
  • Great Value Cut Green Beans No Salt Added
  • Great Value French Style Green Beans
  • Great Value French Style cut Green Beans No Salt Added
  • Green Giant Cut Green Beans
  • Green Giant French Cut Green Beans
  • Libby’s Naturals Cut Green Beans
  • Libby’s Regular Cut Green Beans
  • Libby’s French Cut Green Beans

Sugar Free Kidney Beans

  • Goya Red Kidney Beans
  • Great Value Light Red Kidney Beans
  • Great Value Light Red Kidney Beans No Salt Added
  • Great Value Dark Red Kidney Beans No Salt added
  • S&W Premium Dark Red Kidney Beans
  • Trappey’s Light Red Kidney Beans (Contains Corn Syrup)
  • Sam’s Choice Organic Dark Red Kidney Beans

Sugar Free Pinto Beans

  • Bush’s Pinto Beans
  • Bush’s Best Reduced Sodium Pinto Beans
  • Bush’s Best Pinto Beans with Bacon
  • Goya Pinto Beans
  • Goya Refried Pinto Beans Traditional
  • Goya Mexican Style Pinto Beans
  • Great Value Pinto Beans
  • Great Value Pinto Beans No salt Added
  • Great Value Pinto Beans No Salt Added
  • Sam’s Choice Organic Pinto Beans
  • Wild Oats Organic Pinto Beans

Sugar Free Refried Beans

  • Bush’s Best Refried Beans
  • Bush’s Best Refried Beans Fat Free
  • Bush’s Best Refried Black Beans
  • Goya Refried Beans with Chorizo
  • Goya Refried Beans Rancheros
  • Old El Paso Traditional Refried Beans
  • Rosarita Traditional Refried Beans

Other Sugar Free Beans

  • Bush’s Crowder Peas
  • Bush’s Purple Hull Peas
  • Bush’s Best Cocina Latina Frijoles ala Mexicana
  • Bush’s Best Cocina Latina Pintos ala Diabla
  • Bush’s Best Cocina Latina Frijoles Machacados
  • Bush’s Best Cocina Latina Frijoles Negros Machacados
  • Goya Pigeon Peas
  • Margaret Holmes Red Beans and Rice (Contains Maltodextrin)
  • Wild Oats Organic Chili Beans in Sauce

My Sugar Free Journey: Part Three

My Sugar Free Journey Part Three

So far I’ve shared how I found out I was overweight, and the many false-starts among my dieting journey.  Then, totally by chance, I happened to read an article by Eve Schaub in Yahoo News.  It detailed how she went a Year with No Sugar and what that did for her family.  She had a new book out and it was like 6 bucks on Kindle so I decided to check it out.  Not only was I fascinated by the story of someone who would try to cut sugar out of their life, she also talked about a YouTube video that made an impact on her.  That’s when I discovered Dr Robert Lustig.

Why Cutting Carbs Works

Where Eve Schaub talked about some of the health benefits she was having, (She wasn’t overweight) Dr Lustig hit me where I lived with a frank discussion on why Sugar makes us fat.  I vividly remember the lightbulb moment in the video for me.  Dr Lustig asked the audience what the Atkins diet (low carb) and the Japanese diet (high carb) had in common.  The answer?  They both worked.  As someone who had suffered through a low-carb diet, this blew my mind.  Would it be possible to eat potatoes AND lose weight?

Because Cutting Carbs Means Cutting Sugar

I thought, ”Do you mean to tell me that I could be eating carbs and losing weight?”  That seemed utterly ridiculous but he explained that in cutting out carbs (or what ever the Japanese diet cuts out) you also managed to cut out the real culprit behind weight gain, namely sugar.  Holy moley that was good news but seemed so counter-intuitive.  How many times had I heard that carbs made you fat?  Turns out they were almost right, it was one carbohydrate in particular that was causing all the issues, sugar.

Further Research Was Needed

Now I’m not the kind of person to take one person’s word for anything.  (Not even someone with the incredibly impressive resume Dr Lustig has)  So I headed to the local Half-Price Bookstore and roamed around Amazon to find Michael Gillespie’s Sweet Poison, Dr Robert Lustig’s Fat Chance and Richard Johnson’s Sugar Fix.  Each one of these books added more information and additional pieces to the puzzle until I was convinced.  The science seemed solid but I had to try it for myself.

Next time, I decide to start my sugar free journey

Why Fructose is Making You Fat- Part Two

Why Fructose is Making You Fat- Part Two


Last time we talked in broad strokes about how Fructose is making you fat.  Now I want to discuss what is happening at the hormonal level when you eat fructose.  (Again, all this info comes from the books and authors mentioned at the top of this page.  If you want more information, I can’t recommend those resources enough to you.)

Your Appetite-Controlling Hormones

There are 4 critical hormones that work together to control your appetite.

CCK (cholecystokinin) – This gets released as we eat fat and protein.  The more we eat, the more of this hormone gets released.  When it reaches a certain level, our appetite control system signals us that we have had enough to eat.

Insulin – Our pancreas monitors our blood glucose level and releases Insulin as needed.  The more glucose in our blood, the more insulin that gets released.  Glucose is what carbohydrates get converted to. (except fructose)  Insulin works just like CCK except it is triggered by glucose where CCK is triggered by fat and protein.

Leptin – Leptin is released by fat cells in our body.  The more fat you have, the less hungry you should feel.  Think of Leptin as a long-term fuel gauge that won’t allow us to accumulate too much fat.  It also insures that our default appetite setting is “not hungry”

Ghrelin – Ghrelin is released by our stomach lining and forces your intestines to contract.  (That “rumbling” in the tummy when you are hungry)  It reverses the effect of Leptin and stimulates our hunger.

There are a few others like Seratonin that suppresses our appetite at night and dopamine that stimulates hunger when we smell food but these 4 are the main ones we need to focus on for our purposes.

Why Don’t These Hormones Work?

Your body wants to thin.  Really!  It wants to have a healthy level of fat for long-term energy needs and then that’s it.  So why doesn’t it work?  We’ve narrowed the culprit down to one thing; fructose.

Fructose is relatively rare in nature, occurring in fruits, (which were difficult to get a hold of for most of human history) a few veggies and honey.  Our bodies never bothered adapting to high intakes of sugar because we never ate a whole lot of it.  It just recognized that fructose was a metabolically “cheap” source of energy, shipped it directly to the liver to be converted to fat for long-term storage.  Our obesity issues arose when we started putting sugar in everything.

As the liver converts fructose to fat, it causes the levels of fat in our bloodstream to rise.  This causes the appetite suppressing hormones (CCK, insulin, and leptin) to not work as well as they should.  They essential can’t get their signal through all the “noise” created by the fat in our blood-stream.  We aren’t told we aren’t hungry anymore so we just continue to eat and our bodies continue to pack on the pounds.

So not only is the fructose being converted to fat, but since we are eating more food we are also eating more fat and calories.  This the primary reason why we increased the number of calories eaten between 1970-2000 by about 25% and the numbers have continued to increase since then.  Over the same time we increased our soft-drink and fruit juice intake by 63%.

As we keep eating, the carbs get converted to blood sugar which causes our pancreas to produce insulin to deal with it.  Soon we can’t produce enough insulin to deal with all the sugar in our blood and we become insulin-resistant.  If this continues, we effectively “burn-out” our pancreas and get Type-II Diabetes.

All in all, nothing good comes from eating fructose.  The more you eat, the fatter and sicker you get.  Fortunately, now that you know about it you can take steps to remove it from your diet.  It’s tough but we can do it together.

Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe

Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe

Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe

I’m a fan of desserts.  In fact, when a skinny person tells me something like “I don’t like desserts” or “I don’t ever eat chocolate” I immediately distrust them.  What kind of crazy person doesn’t like chocolate!?

So as you might imagine, finding sugar-free desserts is a little difficult but so far I’ve had good luck with my dessert experimentations.  For the first few weeks, my “go-to” snack was popcorn.  (Popped in coconut oil, sprinkled with a little salt and Garlic powder.  So good!)  Fortunately, I found out that you can freeze bananas and make a very tasty “Ice-Cream” with them.  To freeze bananas easily, peel and place in Ziploc bag.  Freeze on a flat surface

If you REALLY want to blow your socks off, combine this recipe with my Sugar Free Berries and Cream recipe and eat up!

Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe
Recipe type: Desserts
Cuisine: Sugar Free Recipe
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
This is a super tasty Sugar Free Banana Ice Cream Recipe!
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • ¼ cup Whole MIlk
  • Tsp of Grape-Nuts
  1. Put frozen bananas in blender or food processor (Some juicers will work also)
  2. Pour in milk and blend until creamy
  3. Don't over blend because you will melt the bananas
  4. Serve in bowls, sprinkle Grape-Nuts on top for a little crunch
To freeze bananas, peel and place in ziploc bag. Freeze on flat surface.


What is Sugar Free at IHOP?

What is Sugar Free at IHOP?

What's Sugar Free At IHOP

I have to admit, I was fully committed to the idea that I was never going to be able to darken the door of an IHOP ever again.  I just assumed there was sugar everywhere but as I started looking through their nutritional information I was a little surprised.

By far what was most impressive is that there is less than a gram of sugar in the bacon, turkey sausage, and Pork Sausage links.  You could easily make a very nice meal either for breakfast or Lunch/Dinner and avoid sugar.

Since IHOP doesn’t provide an ingredients list, the best we can do is look at their nutritional info, each of these items are listed at 0 grams of sugar.  We can’t look for fructose specifically.  Let’s take a look at the individual components of our meal, then we can discuss a few options.

  • Bacon
  • Top Sirloin Steak
  • Turkey Sausage Links
  • Turkey Sausage patties
  • Pork Sausage Links
  • Taylor Ham
  • Eggs
  • Any Cheese
  • All Veggies
  • Grits
  • Sauteed Spinach and Mushrooms
  • Seasoned Fries
  • Hashbrowns (These have 1 gram of sugar but is most likely from the potatoes and not from added Fructose)


You will need to avoid their breads and syrups. (I know, no pancakes at the International House of Pancakes)  It looks like you can have almost any omelette consisting of any of the meats listed above with any cheese or veggie.  Any of the meats can be used as sides as well as hashbrowns (Hashbrowns have 1 gram of sugar but is most likely from the starch) and/or grits.


Hope you are (Top Sirloin) Steak and Potatoes man.  The fries have no sugar but the plain baked potato is listed at 4 grams of sugar.  I’m sure none is from fructose so as long as you avoid the bacon bits, you should be fine.  A side salad with no dressing is good also.  (FYI, not having dressing when I ate out was a little stressful.  Sometimes I bring my own from home but when I’m in a pinch I’ve found that salt, pepper and a couple squeezed lemon wedges is very tasty on a salad.)


Pretty straight forward here.  Avoid soft drinks or fruit juice.  Coffee, tea or milk (unsweetened or with artificial sweeteners) or diet drinks are fine.