5 Tips for Eating Sugar Free in Restaurants!

5 Tips For Eating Sugar Free When Dining Out

5 Tips for Eating Sugar Free in Restaurants!

One of the trickier things about eating Sugar-Free is eating out.  We don’t do it a ton but when we do, it took us a little time to see all the pitfalls and avoid them.  I’ve been putting together lists of What is Sugar Free in Restaurants but even that is difficult because no one feels it’s necessary to publish the ingredients of their food and since there is no such thing as a “Sugar Allergy” it’s not on any allergen list.

But over time we finally were able to pick our way through the sugary minefield that is eating out and developed a few tricks that served us well.  I hop you find them as useful as we did.

Plan Ahead

If I know where we will be eating, I try to call the day before and explain that I don’t eat sugar and get some advice about what to eat.  What I found is many times I got something like “Oh, there was someone in a week ago that couldn’t eat sugar and we decided that she could eat x”.  If that happens, life is super easy but if not, no big deal.  It usually just takes a few minutes to go through the menu and pick out the most likely no sugar added dishes.

Learn to ask about seasonings, sauces and dressings

Unfortunately, it’s these 3 items that most dishes will fail the no sugar test.  One of our favorite hamburger places has sugar in the seasoning for the fries, the little Italian bistro we like to go to has sugar in dang near every type of pasta sauce and salad dressing is just about impossible to find.

All you can do is ask about each of these items and cut them if they have sugar.  Fortunately, 2 of these 3 items have easy work-a-rounds.  For the seasoning, just season your own food.  Salt and Pepper are fantastic all by themselves.  For the dressing, either bring your own from home (I know, we’ve become those people with little tupperware bottles of dressing in my wife’s purse.)  Another option is oil and vinegar (but beware Balsamic vinegar, it’s got quite a bit of fructose in it.) or, in a pinch, just olive oil and a squeeze of lemon with a little salt and pepper.  As for the sauces, it’s going to be tough.  It’s sometimes easier to find white sauces without sugar as opposed to red but it’s a tricky find.

Cut the bread

If it’s leavened bread, it almost certainly used sugar in the recipe.  Some flat breads (like tortillas) don’t use sugar but you can’t know for sure unless you ask.  I’ve also found that if they bring out chips and salsa, you are usually ok.  It’s been very rare that I’ve seen tortilla chips with sugar and if you are in a decent Mexican restaurant, there is probably no sugar in the salsa.

Avoid battered food

This one is a little tricky.  Usually, if the restaurant batters their own food in house, you are fine but if it’s pre-battered and frozen, you should avoid it.

Remember all you CAN eat!

This is probably the most important tip.  It’s easy to get so focused on what is gone from your diet that you lose sight of what is still there.  There is still a BUNCH of things you can eat and not feel deprived.  Most importantly, you will be cutting out one of the most harmful ingredients from our modern meals and will be reaping the benefits of getting that poison out of your system.

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My Easy Sugar Free Taco Seasoning Recipe!

ugar Free Taco Seasoning Recipe

Taco seasoning was another one of those little things I didn’t expect to have such a problem finding in a sugar free variety.  I mean, it’s taco seasoning!  Who wants sugar in their tacos?  Apparently I did because the brand I had been buying for years had sugar in the ingredients list so I had to do a little experimenting to find one that was right for me.  So, the level of spice something has is absolutely crucial in my house because my wife doesn’t like anything spicy.  Over our marriage I’ve acclimated her to some degree to heat in her food but I think she just endures it instead of enjoying it like I do.  So this was what we finally came up with, not too spicy but with a hint of heat.  Of course if you like some spice, add a little more red pepper and you’ll be fine.

As for storage, we have the little tiny Rubbermaid containers that are too small for any actual food so it works perfectly for my taco seasoning.  It just stays on the counter mixed in with my other spices so it’s always within easy reach.  Also, I’ve found that it is a much more versatile spice than just tacos as I’ve been using it on a lot of different ground meat dishes and have been happy with how they turned out.

Hope you like it as well!

Author: 
Recipe type: Spice
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
MY Super Tasty Sugar Free Taco Seasoning Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and mix

 

Sugar Free Iced Coffee Recipe

 

ugar Free Iced Coffee Recipe

Sugar Free Iced Coffee Recipe

Summer in Texas means blistering hot days and nights that are almost as bad so we are always looking for ways to cool down and stay Sugar Free.  Here’s our delicious recipe for Sugar Free Iced Coffee.

Sugar Free Iced Coffee
Author: 
Recipe type: Beverage
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
A delicious drink for hot summer days!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee - strong
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 6 ice cups
  • Splenda to taste
Instructions
  1. Brew a cup of coffee as strong as you can
  2. Mix with milk and ice and sweeten to taste
  3. Top with sugar free whipped cream if desired

Sugar Free Whipped Cream
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
An incredibly easy Whipped Cream recipe. It works best if you can mix it in a cold metal bowl
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Whipped Cream
  • 1 tbsp Dextrose or Splenda
  • 1 tsp organic Vanilla (Just be sure it has no added sugar)
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients in cold metal bowl
  2. Wisk at highest speed until cream stiffens. You are looking for peaks that hold their shape.

 

 

5 Ways Fructose Damages Your Health Beyond Just Weight-Gain

5 Ways Fructose Damages Your Health Beyond Weight Gain

We’ve talked about how fructose will make you fat, but did you know it affects our bodies in other ways as well?  One of the more eye-opening facts that was in Fed Up was that up to 20% of Americans have health problems normally associated with obesity but are not over-weight.  There is strong scientific evidence that suggests that even if you are controlling your caloric intake enough to prevent weight-gain, fructose is harmful enough that it can cause problems anyway.  Here are just a few of the health issues that have soared in number as the amount of fructose we consume has climbed.

High Blood Pressure

In the last 3 decades, the number of Americans with HBP has climbed about 20% to include 73 million people.  This was the one that really struck home for me and made me realize what bad shape I was in.  My BP was a ridiculous 220/160 at one point; it was so bad the poor nurse that took my vitals hit the machine a few times because she was sure it was wrong.  I’ll never forget the look on her face when she realized it was accurate, if she had her way I would have been in the back of an ambulance almost immediately.  The good news is that after just a month or 2 of cutting the sugar out of my live my BO is 131/68.  Still high but a heckuva lot better.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type II Diabetes has risen about 35% since 1994 and affects about 20 million people.  The most stunning thing about this disease is that we have had to change the name to reflect a horrible new reality.  This disease used to be called “Adult-Onset Diabetes” because it was almost always found in people who took their entire lives to accumulate the weight needed to cause it.  Now it’s become so common among children and adolescents that calling it “Adult-Onset” was inaccurate, hence the switch to “Type II”.

Kidney Disease

In the last 25 years, the incidence of end-stage renal failure, or kidney failure, has increased by about 400%.  Meanwhile about 20 million Americans have mild to moderate kidney damage.  The horrible thing about this problem is that once you have damaged your kidneys, barring a transplant you will have damaged kidneys for the rest of your life.  Doctors may be able to slow down its progression but they can’t stop it and they can’t cure it.

Liver Disease

It used to be that if you had liver disease, you were most assuredly an alcoholic.  Now we are seeing a marked increase in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, or NAFLD.  Once almost non-existent, NAFLD now affects about 20 million Americans including about 3.5 million kids.   It has also become the most common reason for liver transplants.

Metabolic Syndrome

Someone is diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome if they have at least 3 of the following 5 symptoms; abdominal (central) obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose, high serum triglycerides, and low high-density cholesterol (HDL) levels.  I have to confess that this was a disease I had never even heard of before I was diagnosed with it earlier this year.  It functions as a kind of “catch-all” diagnosis for all the issues that arise from Obesity.  In my research I found the one stat that really drove home how wide-spread this epidemic is.  During the 1990’s (That’s just 10 years!) the portion of the American population that had Metabolic Syndrome rose a whopping 25% to include 55 Million people.

I remember watching Dr Lustig say one time that fructose is a chronic, dose-dependent, liver toxin.  Chronic means it takes its time killing you, dose-dependent means that the more you eat the more damage it causes, and liver toxin means it will affect your liver first and foremost.  I implore you to consider how dangerous sugar can be to you and your family and to look at what you can do to reduce it or remove it from your diet.

Any questions?  Want to talk?  Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Data in this article can be found in Dr Richard Johnson’s excellent book, “The Sugar Fix” and Wikipedia