Last updated on March 13th, 2018
“No Sugar, No Starch” Diet: Getting Started
This diet is focused on providing your body with the nutrition it needs, while eliminating foods that your body does not require, namely, nutritionally empty carbohydrates. For most effective weight loss, you will need to keep the total number of carbohydrate grams to fewer than 20 grams per day. Your diet is to be made up exclusively of foods and beverages from this handout. If the food is packaged, check the label and make sure that the carbohydrate count is 1 to 2 grams or less for meat and dairy products, 5 grams or less for vegetables. All food may be cooked in a microwave oven, baked, boiled, stir-fried, saute’d roasted, fried (with no flour, breading, or cornmeal), or grilled.
WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY, EAT YOUR CHOICE OF THE FOLLOWING FOODS:
Beef (including hamburger and steak), pork, ham (unglazed), bacon, lamb, veal, or other meats. For processed meats (sausage, pepperoni, hot dogs), check the label; carbohydrate count should be 1 or less gram per serving.
Chicken, turkey, duck, or other fowl.
Fish and Shellfish
Any fish, including tuna, salmon, catfish, bass, trout, shrimp, scallops, crab, and lobster.
Whole eggs are permitted without restrictions.
You do not have to avoid the fat that comes with the above foods.
You do not have to limit quantities deliberately, but you should stop eating when you feel full.
FOODS THAT MUST BE EATEN EVERY DAY:
2 cups a day. Includes arugula, bok choy, cabbage (all varieties), chard, chives, endive, greens (all varieties, including beet, collards, mustard, and turnip), kale, lettuce (all varieties), parsley, spinach, radicchio, radishes, scallions, and watercress. (If it is a leaf, you may eat it.)
1 cup (measured uncooked) a day. Includes artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans (string beans), jicama, leeks, mushrooms, okra, onions, peppers, pumpkin, shallots, snow peas, sprouts (bean and alfalfa), sugar snap peas, summer squash, tomatoes, rhubarb, wax beans, zucchini.
2 cups daily — as needed for sodium replenishment. Clear broth (consomme strongly recommended), unless you are on a sodium-restricted diet for hypertension or heart failure.
FOODS ALLOWED IN LIMITED QUANTITIES:
up to 4 ounces a day. Includes hard, aged cheeses such as Swiss and Cheddar, as well as Brie, Camembert, blue, mozzarella, Gruy’, cream cheese, goat cheeses. Avoid processed cheeses, such as Velveeta. Check the label; carbohydrate count should be less than 1 gram per serving.
up to 4 tablespoonfuls a day. Includes heavy, light, or sour cream (not half and half).
up to 4 tablespoons a day. Duke’s and Hellmann’s are low-carb. Check the labels of other brands.
Black or Green, up to 6 a day.
up to 1/2 of a fruit a day.
up to 4 teaspoonfuls a day.
up to 4 tablespoons a day. Kikkoman is a low-carb brand. Check the labels of other brands.
Dill or Sugar-Free: up to 2 servings a day. Mt. Olive makes sugar- free pickles. Check the labels for carbohydrates and serving size.
Pork rinds/skins; pepperoni slices; ham, beef, turkey, and other meat roll-ups; deviled eggs.
THE PRIMARY RESTRICTION: CARBOHYDRATES
On this diet, no sugars (simple carbohydrates) and no starches (complex carbohydrates) are eaten. The only carbohydrates encouraged are the nutritionally dense, fiber-rich vegetables listed.
Sugars are simple carbohydrates. Avoid these kinds of foods: white sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, corn syrup, beer (contains barley malt), milk (contains lactose), flavored yogurts, fruit juice, and fruit. Starches are complex carbohydrates. Avoid these kinds of foods: grains (even “whole” grains), rice, cereals, flour, cornstarch, breads, pastas, muffins, bagels, crackers, and “starchy” vegetables such as slow-cooked beans (pinto, lima, black beans), carrots, parsnips, corn, peas, potatoes, French fries, potato chips.
FATS AND OILS
All fats and oils, even butter, are allowed. Olive oil and peanut oil are especially healthy oils and are encouraged in cooking. Avoid margarine and other hydrogenated oils that contain trans fats.
For salad dressings, the ideal dressing is a homemade oil-and-vinegar dressing, with lemon juice and spices as needed. Blue-cheese, ranch, Caesar, and Italian are also acceptable if the label says 1 to 2 grams of carbohydrate per serving or less. Avoid “lite” dressings, because these commonly have more carbohydrates. Chopped eggs, bacon, and/or grated cheese may also be included in salads.
Fats, in general, are important to include, because they taste good and make you feel full. You are therefore permitted the fat or skin that is served with the meat or poultry that you eat, as long as there is no breading on the skin. Do not attempt to follow a low-fat diet!
From “Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, Duke University Medical Center”