Who can resist ice cream? It’s a dessert that reminds us of childhood and is perfect on a hot summer day. But if you’re trying to lose weight (or make healthier decisions in general), you might be searching for an ice cream alternative that will satisfy your craving, but won’t leave you feeling guilty.
Enter ice cream brands like Halo Top®, Arctic Zero® and Breyer’s Delights®. These products are advertised as “healthy ice cream” and claim to be low in calories and sugar, but high in protein.
Sounds too good to be true, right?
Registered dietitian, Anna Taylor, RD discusses if ice cream can actually be healthy for you.
Is low calorie ice cream healthy?
“Healthy foods — like fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains — actually improve your health,” says Taylor. “But because these low calorie ice cream products don’t actually better your health, I wouldn’t call them healthy by any means.”
That said, if you regularly eat ice cream, then replacing it with a product that is lower in calories, lower in saturated fat and lower in sugar would likely improve your diet, but it’s not a magic wand.
Taylor suggest keeping two major things in mind when indulging in these ice cream alternatives:
GI distress. These products often contain ingredients such as sugar alcohols, chicory root or inulin, which can cause bloating, gas and even diarrhea in some people.
Portions matter. The recommended portion for these lower calorie ice cream products is typically 2/3 cup, not one pint (2 cups). If you eat a pint a day, which contains 150 to 360 calories, you could gain as much as 15 to 36 pounds in one year! Also, one pint contains up to 20 to 40 grams of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily added sugars to 25 grams for women and 36 grams for men. Stick to 2/3 cup as a serving size for these products.
Also, before you top your ice cream with caramel sauce, fudge, whipped cream or candy bits, remember that sundae toppings also pile on loads of extra calories on top of the actual ice cream itself. Skip the toppings altogether, but if you absolutely must, consider topping your treat with fiber-rich fresh fruit slices, berries or protein-packed nuts instead.
The bottom line
If eating a lower calorie ice cream product helps you decrease the excess calories, saturated fat and added sugar in your diet, then it’s fine to enjoy in moderation — meaning occasionally! (And hey, we get it. Many of us have eaten an entire pint of ice cream before, but moderation is key when it comes to these products.)
Another option for fighting off your sweet tooth is to control the portion of another sweet treat that you already enjoy, says Taylor. Maybe you decide that you’ll have a piece of dark chocolate or a small slice of cake at your friend’s birthday party. Allowing yourself a small treat can motivate you to continue on your weight-loss journey or inspire you to keep making small, healthier decisions.
As always, reading the nutrition label on each product before you buy it will guide you in making healthier choices – and help you understand how much you can consume in moderation.
Some of the most beautiful people I know are the most insecure about their looks. Take my friend Giselle (believe me, not her real name!). She’s one of those women always invited to events most of us rarely go to—award shows, boutique openings, glamorous parties. With her long blonde hair and sparkly blue eyes, she could have her pick of men. But she spends most of her time picking on herself.
“I wake up every morning looking older than the day before!” she told me recently. She already does a lot of the right things—doesn’t smoke, avoids too much sun, gets enough sleep, and takes time to relax and let go of her stress. But when I asked about her diet, she was surprised. “I don’t worry about my weight!” she said.
Maybe not, but the right diet can do more than just lead to weight loss. It can turn back the hands of time, as well. If finding eternal youth youthful is on your to-do list, try adding these Eat This, Not That!-recommended foods to your daily diet plan.
1. Shiitake Mushrooms to Stop Greying Hair
Grey hair is beautiful when it’s age-appropriate, but unfair for folks who start to salt-and-pepper before they’ve finished life’s main course. One cause of early greying: a lack of copper. A study in the journal Biological Trace Elemental Research found premature-graying individuals had significantly lower copper levels than a control group. Your body requires copper to produce pigment for your skin and hair, and shiitake mushrooms are one of the best dietary sources. Just a half cup provides 71 percent of your recommended daily intake of copper—and for only 40 calories!
2. Sweet Potatoes to Regain Your Glow
A study in the Journal Evolution and Human Behaviour showed eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables gives a healthier, and more attractive, golden glow than the sun. Researchers found people who ate more portions of red and orange fruits and vegetables per day had a more sun-kissed complexion than those who didn’t consume as much—the result of disease-fighting compounds called carotenoids that give those plants their colors. And no, you won’t look like an Oompa Loompa. In fact, given the choice between a real suntan and a glow caused by diet, study participants preferred the carotenoid complexion. Few foods are as rich in the beauty stuff than sweet potatoes; just half a medium potato with the skin provides 200 percent of your daily recommended intake.
3. Cheddar Cheese to Whiten Your Teeth
Good news, politicians: Cheesy smiles may be good for you. One study in the journal General Dentistry of people who didn’t brush their teeth for 48 hours (don’t try that at home),found snacking on cheddar cheese raised their mouths’ pH to freshly-brushed levels. (Like cavities, discoloration is increased when you have an acidic environment in your mouth.) Plus, compounds in the cheese that adhere to tooth enamel, like a white strip, help to fend off acid.
4. Spa Water to Erase Dark Circles
Puffy, dark circles under the eyes may indicate you had too much fun the night before, but it can also indicate another more common, less exciting issue: dehydration. Salty foods, alcohol, exercise, hot weather and just plain not drinking enough water can create inflammation, which results in the Rocket Raccoon complexion. Start replenishing your body right away: Cut up some citrus fruits (rind included) and soak them in a pitcher of ice water. Now drink copiously. The citrus not only improves flavor, but the rinds contain a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called de-limonene, which helps the liver flush toxins from the body, according to the World Health Organization.
5. Lean Beef to Get Strong, Shiny Nails
Weekly manicures can keep your nails in tip-top shape, but so can Sunday’s top round roast dinner. Researches say a diet rich in protein, iron and zinc are the key to long, strong, beautiful nails. And you’ll get a healthy serving of all three nutrients from a small portion of lean red meat. A recent study in the Journal of The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology that looked at nail growth over the past 70 years found that dietary protein was the difference between spurts and lags in nail growth. It’s perhaps no wonder, considering nails are made from protein—keratin, specifically. Nail it with a small 3-4 ounce portion of top round or sirloin, which are the leanest cuts of red meat, one to two times a week.
6. Almond Butter to Thicken Your Locks
No, you don’t rub it into your scalp like Rogaine. But almond butter is one food that contains a wide variety of nutrients—including protein, healthy fats, and certain vitamins—that have all been linked to hair health. It’s the vitamin E content in the nuts that researchers say is particularly good for keeping your locks thick and lustrous. One eight-month trial found men who supplemented daily with vitamin E saw an increase in hair growth by as much as 42 percent. Just a tablespoon of almonds provides nearly two-thirds of your RDA for fat-soluble vitamin E.
7. Tomatoes to Reverse Sun Damage
New research has found that the reason melanoma rates are so low in regions like the Mediterranean—where going topless on the beach is all part of the summertime fun—has to do with the Mediterranean diet. Foods high in antioxidants, particularly deeply colored fruits and vegetables, can help fight the oxidizing effect of UV rays. One study in the British Journal of Dermatology found participants who ate five tablespoons of tomato paste (a highly concentrated form of fresh tomatoes) daily showed 33 percent more protection against sunburn than a control group. And tomatoes work double duty to boost beauty: While the carotenoids and antioxidants help the body fight off oxidation that ages skin cells, they also boost pro-collagen—a molecule that gives skin its taught, youthful structure.
You reach for coffee to perk up in the morning and get over the mid-afternoon slump. Turns out there’s another good reason to make coffee part of your daily routine: liver health. “We have a lot of evidence that coffee is good for the liver,” says liver specialist Jamile Wakim-Fleming, MD.
What’s the link between coffee and your liver? Dr. Wakim-Fleming explains what science says.
Coffee and fatty liver disease
Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks. That’s led to lots of researchers exploring the health effects of a java habit. Overall, those studies spell good news for liver health.
“Coffee is especially helpful when it comes to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease,” says Dr. Wakim-Fleming.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when extra fat builds up in liver cells. It affects 1 in 4 people in the U.S., mostly in those who carry excess weight or have diabetes or high cholesterol. Over time, it can cause cirrhosis or scarring of the liver. That scarring can lead to liver cancer or liver failure.
But research shows that people who drink a lot of coffee have a lower risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Coffee appears to protect people who already have liver problems. There’s evidence that coffee is beneficial for people with hepatitis C, a virus that infects the liver and can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer.
In people who already have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, regular coffee drinking lowers the odds of developing cirrhosis. And among people who have cirrhosis, those who drink more coffee are less likely to die from the disease.
Is decaf coffee good for your liver?
Sorry, you’ll need to reach for the high-octane stuff. Much of coffee’s beneficial effects on the liver come from the buzz. “You have to consume regular coffee — not decaf — daily to get the liver benefits,” Dr. Wakim-Fleming says. “There’s something inherent about caffeine that is helpful to the liver.”
There are other beneficial ingredients as well. “Coffee contains antioxidants and other compounds that all play a big role in decreasing liver inflammation,” she adds.
Coffee recommendations for liver health
How much coffee should you drink? In this case, less is not more.
“We recommend at least three cups every day to help prevent liver problems,” Dr. Wakim-Fleming says. And if you have hepatitis or fatty liver disease, even more — as many as four, five or even six cups a day — might be helpful.
However, not everyone can handle that much coffee without bouncing off the walls (or worse). It can trigger headaches, difficulty initiating sleep, anxiety and jitters in some people. Dr. Wakim-Fleming only suggests going this route if you can tolerate it.
If you have an irregular heart rate or other heart problems, excessive coffee might be dangerous. Coffee might also cause problems if you have lung cancer. In such cases, steer clear until you talk to your doctor for advice.
If you can drink coffee without any problems, skip the cream and sugar. Since people with fatty liver disease often have problems like diabetes and obesity, it’s especially important not to add extra fat and sugar to your coffee. “Black coffee is best,” Dr. Wakim-Fleming says. If you just can’t stomach it black, swap sugar for artificial sweeteners. Add skim milk or plant-based milk instead of cream.
How to have a healthy liver
Drinking coffee is just one way to keep your liver healthy. Dr. Wakim-Fleming says it’s also important to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and hepatitis B viruses, which both damage the liver.
A healthy diet is also key. “The liver is the first organ to metabolize the foods we eat. Eating a lot of high-sugar, high saturated-fat foods can lead to fatty liver disease,” she says. And of course, heavy alcohol drinking can permanently damage the liver and lead to cirrhosis.
However, coffee isn’t a miracle worker. It won’t completely reverse liver disease or undo the damage caused by excessive alcohol use. But it can be one delicious and satisfying step toward a happier liver.
Water may not be the most exciting beverage out there (iced horchata latte, anyone?), but you literally can’t live without it. So how much do you really need to drink in a day? Well, it depends on a number of variables.
“Your size, activity, metabolism, location, diet, physical activity and health all factor into how much water you need,” says preventive medicine specialist Roxanne Sukol, MD. But before you throw up your hands in frustration (that’s a lot to consider!), Dr. Sukol explains how you can make sure that you’re adequately hydrated.
How to determine your recommended daily water intake
The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommends that men drink about 3.7 liters (about 125 ounces) a day and women drink 2.7 liters (about 91 ounces). “Those amounts include the water that’s in our food,” says Dr. Sukol. “So it doesn’t mean that you have to drink that many ounces of water. The water in food also counts.”
Dr. Sukol suggests considering these four factors when determining your water needs:
Activity level: If you work out a lot or are moving all day long, drink more water.
Location: If you find yourself in a warmer climate, you’ll probably want to increase your water intake.
Metabolism: If you consider yourself to have a faster metabolism, and your body seems to need more fuel to keep its engines revved — you may also notice that you need more water.
Size: The more you weigh, the more water your body tends to need.
But water needs are also like the stock market, with daily fluctuations that depend on:
Alcohol consumption: Before you decide on a second cocktail, drink a glass of water to rehydrate yourself and replace fluids caused by alcohol-mediated losses.
Health: “We really worry when people are sick and they’re not getting a sufficient amount of liquids, especially if they are also losing fluids due to vomiting or diarrhea” notes Dr. Sukol. If you have a fever, it’s a good idea to increase your daily quota of fluids by a few cups. Clear broth and gelatin also count as fluids.
Physical activity: Did you go for a sweat-inducing run or did you decide to snuggle up with a book? Again, the more active you are, the more water you’ll need.
Weather: You’ll definitely need more water during a heatwave than a blizzard. Use your common sense. If you live in a dry climate or a dry home, it won’t hurt to drink a little more than the daily recommendation.
How to tell if you’re drinking enough water
Even if you’re not thirsty, don’t assume you’re drinking enough water. Instead, take a peek at your urine. “If it’s almost the color of water, you’re right on track. But if your urine is bright yellow or has a strong odor, then you could probably use more fluids,” notes Dr. Sukol.
Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration might include:
More severe dehydration constitutes a medical emergency that requires immediate attention, and can include any or all of these as well as:
The benefits of drinking water
The human body is 60% water — and our blood is 90% water. “That’s why you need to make sure that you’re drinking enough water. It’s also why people who are too sick to drink can tend to get into further trouble,” explains Dr. Sukol. “In addition to protein, fats and carbohydrates, water is sometimes considered a fourth macronutrient: needed for our body to function optimally.”
For example, water helps your:
Blood: Water ensures that your blood is just the right consistency to carry oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to the areas that need it, including your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles.
Digestive system: “Dehydration is an easily reversible cause of constipation.”
Joints: Think of your joints like the gears of your car — they need to be well-lubricated to work and last.
Kidneys: Drinking adequate amounts of water can prevent kidney damage and disorders.
Skin: For clear, wrinkle-free skin, H2O can be just as effective as expensive anti-aging creams and lotions. It can also stave off certain skin disorders.
Teeth: Water keeps your mouth clean and lowers your risk for tooth decay.
There’s also research that water may:
Boost exercise performance.
Help with weight loss.
Reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.
Can you drink too much water?
The short answer: yes. But it’s hard to do. “Hyponatremia, or low sodium, can be caused by a number of things, but one of them is when people drink much too much water over a relatively short time period,” says Dr. Sukol. “but it’s pretty unusual that anyone would drink so much water that they would actually hurt themselves. This condition can be quite serious but it is extremely rare.”
Everyone experiences an upset stomach and indigestion, or dyspepsia, from time to time after eating or drinking. The condition is usually no cause for concern, and it is often possible to treat the symptoms using home remedies.
Common symptoms of an upset stomach and indigestion include:
heartburn, or acid reflux
belching, sometimes bringing up bitter or foul-tasting fluid or food
bad-smelling or sour breath
hiccupping or coughing
This article looks at 21 of the most popular home remedies for an upset stomach and indigestion. We also explain when to see a doctor.
Twenty-one home remedies
Some of the most popular home remedies for an upset stomach and indigestion include:
1. Drinking water
The body needs water to digest and absorb nutrients from foods and beverages efficiently. Being dehydrated makes digestion more difficult and less effective, which increases the likelihood of an upset stomach.
In general, the Health and Medicine Division (HMD) recommend that:
women should have around 2.7 liters (l), or 91 ounces (oz), of water a day
men should have about 3.7 l, or 125 oz, of water a day
Around 20 percent of this will come from food, with the rest coming from beverages. For most people, a good figure to aim for is approximately 8 or more cups of water a day. Younger children require slightly less water than adults.
For those with digestive issues, it is imperative to stay hydrated. Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration very quickly so people with these symptoms should keep drinking water.
2. Avoiding lying down
When the body is horizontal, the acid in the stomach is more likely to travel backward and move upward, which can cause heartburn.
People with an upset stomach should avoid lying down or going to bed for at least a few hours until it passes. Someone who needs to lie down should prop up their head, neck, and upper chest with pillows, ideally at a 30-degree angle.
Ginger is a common natural remedy for an upset stomach and indigestion.
Ginger contains chemicals called gingerols and shogaols that can help speed up stomach contractions. This may move foods that are causing indigestion through the stomach more quickly.
The chemicals in ginger may also help to reduce nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
People with an upset stomach could try adding ginger to their food or drinking it as a tea. Some all-natural ginger ales may also contain enough ginger to settle an upset stomach.
In addition to sweetening the breath, the menthol in mint may help with the following:
preventing vomiting and diarrhea
reducing muscle spasms in the intestines
Researchers have found that mint is a traditional treatment for indigestion, gas, and diarrhea in Iran, Pakistan, and India.
Raw and cooked mint leaves are both suitable for consumption. Traditionally, people often boil mint leaves with cardamom to make a tea. It is also possible to powder or juice mint leaves and mix them with other teas, beverages, or foods.
Sucking on mint candies might be another way to help reduce the pain and discomfort of heartburn.
5. Taking a warm bath or using a heating bag
Heat may relax tense muscles and ease indigestion, so taking a warm bath may help to ease the symptoms of an upset stomach. It could also be beneficial to apply a heated bag or pad to the stomach for 20 minutes or until it goes cool.
6. BRAT diet
Doctors may recommend the BRAT diet to people with diarrhea.
BRAT stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. These foods are all starchy, so they can help bind foods together to make stools firmer. This may decrease the number of stools a person passes and help ease their diarrhea.
As these foods are bland, they do not contain substances that irritate the stomach, throat, or intestines. Therefore, this diet can soothe the tissue irritation resulting from the acids in vomit.
Many of the foods in the BRAT diet are also high in nutrients such as potassium and magnesium and can replace those lost through diarrhea and vomiting.
7. Avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol
Smoking can irritate the throat, increasing the likelihood of an upset stomach. If the person has vomited, smoking can further irritate the tender tissue already sore from stomach acids.
As a toxin, alcohol is difficult to digest and can cause damage to the liver and stomach lining.
People with an upset stomach should avoid smoking and drinking alcohol until they are feeling better.
8. Avoiding difficult-to-digest foods
Some foods are harder to digest than others, which increases the risk of an upset stomach. Anyone with an upset stomach should avoid foods that are:
fried or fatty
rich or creamy
salty or heavily preserved
9. Lime or lemon juice, baking soda, and water
Some studies suggest that mixing lime or lemon juice in water with a pinch of baking soda can help to relieve a variety of digestive complaints.
This mixture produces carbonic acid, which may help to reduce gas and indigestion. It may also improve liver secretion and intestinal mobility. The acidity and other nutrients in lime or lemon juice can help to digest and absorb fats and alcohol while neutralizing bile acids and reducing acidity in the stomach.
Most traditional recipes recommend mixing the following quantities:
1 tablespoon (tbsp) of fresh lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon (tsp) of baking soda
8 oz of clean water
Cinnamon contains several antioxidants that may help ease digestion and reduce the risk of irritation and damage in the digestive tract. Some of the antioxidants in cinnamon include:
Other substances in cinnamon may help to reduce gas, bloating, cramping, and belching. They may also help to neutralize stomach acidity to reduce heartburn and indigestion.
People with an upset stomach could try adding 1 tsp of good-quality cinnamon powder, or an inch of cinnamon stick, to their meals. Alternatively, they could try mixing the cinnamon with boiling water to make a tea. Doing this two or three times daily may help to relieve indigestion.
Cloves contain substances that may help to reduce gas in the stomach and increase gastric secretions. This can speed up slow digestion, which may reduce pressure and cramping. Cloves may also help to reduce nausea and vomiting.
A person with an upset stomach could try mixing 1 or 2 tsps of ground or powdered cloves with 1 tsp of honey once a day before bedtime. For nausea and heartburn, they could combine the cloves with 8 oz of boiling water instead to make a clove tea, which they should drink slowly once or twice daily.
Cumin seeds contain active ingredients that may help by:
reducing indigestion and excess stomach acids
reducing intestinal inflammation
acting as an antimicrobial
A person with an upset stomach could try mixing 1 or 2 tsps of ground or powdered cumin into their meals. Alternatively, they could add a few teaspoons of cumin seeds or powder to boiling water to make a tea.
Some traditional medical systems suggest chewing a pinch or two of raw cumin seeds or powder to ease heartburn.
Figs contain substances that can act as laxatives to ease constipation and encourage healthy bowel movements. Figs also contain compounds that may help to ease indigestion.
A person with an upset stomach could try eating whole fig fruits a few times a day until their symptoms improve. Alternatively, they could try brewing 1 or 2 tsps of fig leaves to make a tea instead.
However, if people are also experiencing diarrhea, they should avoid consuming figs.
14. Aloe juice
The substances in aloe juice may provide relief by:
reducing excess stomach acid
encouraging healthy bowel movements and toxin removal
improving protein digestion
promoting the balance of digestive bacteria
In one study, researchers found that people who drank 10 milliliters (ml) of aloe juice daily for 4 weeks found relief from the following symptoms of gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD):
flatulence and belching
nausea and vomiting
acid and food regurgitation
Yarrow flowers contain flavonoids, polyphenols, lactones, tannins, and resins that may help to reduce the amount of acid that the stomach produces. They do this by acting on the main digestive nerve, called the vagus nerve. A reduction in stomach acid levels can reduce the likelihood of heartburn and indigestion.
A person with an upset stomach could try eating young yarrow leaves raw in a salad or cooked in a meal. It is also possible to make yarrow tea by adding 1 or 2 tsps of dried or ground yarrow leaves or flowers to boiling water.
Basil contains substances that may reduce gas, increase appetite, relieve cramping, and improve overall digestion. Basil also contains eugenol, which may help to reduce the quantity of acid in the stomach.
Basil also contains high levels of linoleic acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
A person with an upset stomach could try adding 1 or 2 tsps of dried basil leaves, or a couple of fresh basil leaves, to meals until their symptoms lessen. For more immediate results, they could mix half a teaspoon of dried basil, or a few fresh leaves, with boiled water to make a tea.
Licorice root contains substances that may help to reduce gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach lining, as well as inflammation relating to peptic ulcers.
Someone with an upset stomach could try drinking licorice root tea several times a day until their symptoms improve. Licorice root teas are widely available online, but it is also possible to make them at home by mixing 1 or 2 tsps of licorice root powder with boiling water.
Like mint, spearmint is a common remedy for many digestive complaints, including:
stomach and intestinal spasms
Most people find that the easiest way to consume spearmint is to drink prepared herbal teas in which spearmint is the primary ingredient. There are many such teas available online.
It is usually safe to drink spearmint teas several times daily until symptoms improve. Sucking on spearmint candies may also help to reduce heartburn.
Plain rice is useful for people with many types of stomach complaints. It can help by:
adding bulk to stool
absorbing fluids that may contain toxins
easing pain and cramps, because of its high levels of magnesium and potassium
Someone who is vomiting or has diarrhea could try slowly eating half a cup of plain, well-cooked rice. It is best to wait until at least a few hours after the last episode of vomiting. The person may continue to do this for 24–48 hours until diarrhea stops.
Rice is also part of the BRAT diet that doctors often recommend.
20. Coconut water
Coconut water contains high levels of potassium and magnesium. These nutrients help to reduce pain, muscle spasms, and cramps.
Coconut water is also useful for rehydrating and is a better option than most sports drinks as it is also low in calories, sugar, and acidity.
Slowly sipping on up to 2 glasses of coconut water every 4–6 hours could ease upset stomach symptoms.
Bananas contain vitamin B6, potassium, and folate. These nutrients can help to ease cramps, pains, and muscle spasms. Bananas can also help by adding bulk to loose stools, which can alleviate diarrhea.
An upset stomach and indigestion should not usually cause concern. For most people, symptoms should go away within a few hours. As older adults and children can become dehydrated much more quickly, they should seek medical attention for vomiting and diarrhea that lasts for more than a day.
People with severe, frequent, or persistent stomach problems should talk to a doctor. It is also best to seek medical attention if the following symptoms are present:
continual or uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea
bloody stool or vomit
inability to pass gas
dizziness or lightheadedness
unintentional weight loss
a lump in the abdomen or stomach
history of iron-deficiency anemia or associated conditions
A new study involving three men concluded that occasional fasting can help reverse type 2 diabetes.
Three men with type 2 diabetes were able to stop insulin treatment altogether after intermittent fasting, but experts are warning that people shouldn’t try such a practice on their own.
A small study published in BMJ Case Reports looked at three men between the ages of 40 and 67 who tried occasional fasting for approximately 10 months.
All of the men were able to stop insulin treatment within a month after starting the intermittent fasting. One of the men was able to stop insulin treatment after only five days of the fasting technique.
“This study shows that a dietary intervention — therapeutic fasting — has the potential to completely reverse type 2 diabetes, even when somebody has suffered with the disease for 25 years. It changes everything about how we should treat the disease,” Dr. Jason Fung, author of the study and director of the Intensive Dietary Management Program
Fung’s assertions that type 2 diabetes can be reversed is contrary to the views of other diabetes experts who spoke with Healthline.
“It’s potentially dangerous to tell patients their diabetes has been reversed, because one is always at risk for progression, even if not being treated by medication,” Dr. Matthew Freeby, director of the Gonda Diabetes Center in Los Angeles and the associate director of diabetes clinical programs at the David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine, told Healthline.
What happens with diabetes
More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 90 to 95 percent of them have type 2 diabetes.
In a person with type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin, which helps control the amount of sugar in the blood.
“When we eat foods containing carbohydrates (breads, cereals, pasta, fruits, starchy vegetables, dairy), the body digests the carbohydrates into single sugars. The pancreas simultaneously receives a signal to release insulin. Insulin is released into the bloodstream and acts as a key to unlock the cells, allowing the single sugars to enter the cells and provide energy,” Lauri Wright, PhD, assistant professor of public health at the University of South Florida, told Healthline.
“Without enough functioning insulin as we see in type 2 diabetes, some of the single sugars build up in the cell and aren’t able to provide cells with energy,” she said.
High blood sugar levels can be damaging to the body and cause other health issues, such as kidney problems, vision loss, and heart disease.
Type 2 diabetes may be managed by healthy eating and exercise. Some people may get prescribed injectable insulin to help manage blood sugar levels.
Results from the study
In Fung’s study, three men attempted intermittent fasting to see the impact it had on their diabetes.
Two of the men fasted every second day for 24 hours. The third man fasted for three days in a week.
On days when the men fasted, they were allowed to drink low-calorie drinks such as water, tea, coffee, and broth. They were also permitted a low-calorie meal at night.
“Fasting is literally the oldest dietary intervention known to mankind, having been used for thousands of years and having been part of human culture and religion for at least as long,” Fung said.
“The thing that surprised me most was how quickly patients got better,” Fung added. “Even after 25 years of diabetes, the maximum time it took to get off insulin was 18 days. All three patients improved their diabetes to the point that they no longer required insulin, and it only took from 5 to 18 days in this study,” he said.
“Imagine taking insulin for 10 years, and all that time, somebody could have treated you with intermittent fasting, and you would not have needed to inject yourself daily for the last decade,” Fung said.
Fung concedes his study is small and more research is needed.
Some cautionary words
All of the experts who spoke with Healthline urge caution when interpreting the results of such an anecdotal study.
“To many people with diabetes, such a study conclusion can be perceived as insulting,” Raquel Pereira, a registered dietitian specializing in diabetes, told Healthline.
“People with diabetes already suffer from the disease prognosis, complications, and limitations. Imagine hearing that the way that they can manage such disease is to then deprive themselves of nutritious foods, which provide health benefits as well energy and pleasure,” she said.
“As researchers, we must invest our efforts into solutions that are more attainable and have a more positive health impact for the vast majority of people with diabetes,” Pereira added.
She says fasting for a person with diabetes can be potentially dangerous and requires medical supervision.
“The research in fasting is minimal, and we definitely need more well-controlled research trials to determine if there are any benefits, but especially who might benefit,” Pereira said.
“Disordered eating patterns are quite common in diabetes, and I would be very concerned about the long-term consequences of fasting. Many people may feel low energy, low mental concentration, low reflexes, headaches, lower immunity, and as a result have their quality of life and productivity suffer,” she said.
Wright says fasting doesn’t always have a positive effect for people with diabetes.
“For diabetic patients, especially on insulin, fasting can cause hypoglycemia. We see some people that fast or go for long periods of time binge-eat when they resume eating, which is counterproductive for diabetes,” she said.
“A study such as this gives us clues for further research,” Wright added. “The research overall on intermittent fasting in diabetics is limited and needs to be expanded before we can make recommendations supporting fasting.”
The bottom line
A small study of three men with type 2 diabetes showed they were able to stop insulin treatment after intermittent fasting.
However, experts say more research is needed, and people shouldn’t undertake such fasting without consulting with their healthcare provider.
No food item is strictly forbidden for people with type 2 diabetes. Healthful eating for people with diabetes is all about controlling portion size and preparing a careful balance of nutrients.
The best vegetables for type 2 diabetes are low on the glycemic index (GI) scale, rich in fiber, or high in nitrates that reduce blood pressure.
In this article, we look at the best vegetables for people with type 2 diabetes. We also explain why vegetables are so important for people who are monitoring blood sugar, and we offer a range of tasty meal ideas.
Best vegetables for type 2 diabetes
Eating a wide variety of foods, including a mix of certain vegetables, can help people with diabetes stay healthy while enjoying a range of meals.
The GI ranking of a food shows how quickly the body absorbs glucose from that food. The body absorbs blood sugar much faster from high-GI foods than low-GI foods.
People with diabetes should eat vegetables with a low GI score to avoid blood sugar spikes.
Not all vegetables are safe for people with diabetes, and some have a high GI. Boiled potatoes, for example, have a GI of 78.
The GI scores for some popular vegetables are:
Frozen green peas score 39 on the GI index.
Carrots score 41 when boiled and 16 when raw.
Broccoli scores 10.
Tomatoes score 15.
Low-GI vegetables are also safe for people with diabetes, such as:
It is important to note that the GI gives a relative value to each food item and does not refer to the specific sugar content. Glycemic load (GL) refers to how much glucose will enter the body in one serving of a food.
Nitrates are chemicals that naturally occur in specific vegetables. Some manufacturers use them as preservatives in foods.
Eating natural, nitrate-rich foods can reduce blood pressure and improve overall circulatory health. People should choose vegetables with naturally high nitrate content, rather than those with nitrate that manufacturers have added during processing.
Nitrate-rich vegetables include:
beets and beet juice
Protein-rich foods help people feel fuller for longer, reducing the urge to snack between meals.
Daily protein recommendations depend on a person’s size, sex, activity level, and other factors. People can speak to a doctor for the best insight on what their ideal daily protein intake should be.
Pregnant or lactating women, highly active people, and those with large bodies need more protein than others.
Vegetables higher than some others in protein include:
Fiber should come from real, natural food, not supplements, making vegetables essential in a glucose-controlled diet. Fiber can help reduce constipation, reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol, and help with weight control.
The American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics say that the correct amount of fiber per day is 25 grams (g) for women and 38 g for men.
This recommendation varies, depending on body size, overall health, and similar factors.
Vegetables and fruits with high fiber content include:
Good carbohydrates provide both nutrients and energy, making them a safe, efficient, and nutritious food choice for people with diabetes.
Low-to-moderate-GI vegetables, such as carrots, improve blood glucose control and reduce the risk of weight gain.
Nitrate-rich foods, such as beets, are among the best vegetables for people with type 2 diabetes who also have a higher than usual risk of cardiovascular disease. This fact remains true despite their high carbohydrate content.
The key to effective food management is to boost vegetable intake and reduce carbohydrate consumption elsewhere in the diet by cutting down on foods such as bread or sugary snacks.
A person with diabetes should include sufficient amounts of fiber and protein in the diet. Many dark, leafy greens are rich in fiber, protein, and other vital nutrients.
Fiber can help control blood glucose levels. Vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes have excellent fiber content.
Vegetables also support improved levels of healthy cholesterol and lower blood pressure. As with protein, fiber can make people feel fuller for longer.
Eating vegan or vegetarian with diabetes
Eating a vegan or vegetarian diet can prove challenging for people with diabetes. Animal products generally have the most protein, but vegans completely avoid dairy and other animal products.
Some of the most protein-rich vegan options include:
beans and chickpeas
amaranth and quinoa
tofu and tempeh
A vegan or vegetarian person who has diabetes can eat a balanced diet. Whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lentils offer plenty of protein often with low calories.
Healthful diabetes meals
Any meal that blends several of the above ingredients will offer excellent nutrition.
To keep meals healthful and flavorsome, people with diabetes should avoid using too much added salt or relying on prepackaged ingredients that are high in sodium.
Careful calorie counting will also support glucose control. Excess calories can turn an otherwise healthful meal into a risk factor for excessive weight gain and worsened insulin sensitivity.
Some simple meal options include:
avocado, cherry tomato, and chickpea salad
hard-boiled eggs and roasted beets with black pepper and turmeric
low-sodium cottage cheese spread on toasted sweet potato slices. Add black or cayenne pepper to boost the flavor
tofu burger patty with spinach and avocado
spinach salad with chia seeds, tomatoes, bell peppers, and a light sprinkling of goat’s cheese
quinoa and fruit added to unsweetened Greek yogurt with cinnamon
quinoa with pepper or vinaigrette season, or on its own
almond butter on sprouted-grain bread with a topping of avocado and crushed red pepper flakes
Balancing less healthful foods with more nutritious ones is a way to remain healthy while also satisfying a sweet tooth. For instance, eating a cookie or two per week is usually fine when balanced by a high-fiber, plant-rich diet.
People with diabetes should focus on a balanced, overall approach to nutrition. There is a risk that forbidding certain foods can make them feel even more appealing. This can lead to poorer control over food choices and raised blood sugar over time.
Vegetables are bursting with nutrition, but they are just one part of managing a lifestyle with diabetes.
People should eat a wide variety of foods from all food groups and plan to stop eating 2–3 hours before bedtime, in most cases, as 12 or more hours of nighttime fasting helps glucose control.
A doctor or dietitian can provide an individualized diabetes meal plan to ensure that a person with the condition receives a wide enough range of nutrients in healthful proportions.
A person with diabetes needs to carefully consider the contents of each meal. While fruits and vegetables contain a wide range of essential nutrients, some can cause blood sugar spikes. How safe are bananas for people with diabetes?
For the most part, eating bananas in moderation is safe for people diabetes.
Bananas grow on plants that can have anywhere from 50 to 150 bananas in each bunch. Stores sell individual bananas in varying sizes, from small to extra large.
People with diabetes can use the glycemic index (GI) to consider the blood glucose impact of a food type. This ranking system gives an idea of the speed at which certain carbohydrates boost blood sugar. Bananas are low-GI. According to the international GI database, ripe bananas have a GI score of 51.
Low-GI foods have a score of 55 or less. People with diabetes can enjoy them as long as they carefully consider portion size.
In this article, we look at why bananas are safe for those who have diabetes and their nutritional benefits.
Bananas and diabetes
A person can include well-controlled amounts of banana in the diet if they have diabetes.
The vitamin, mineral and fiber content in banana can add nutritional benefit for people with diabetes, as long as an individual does not eat excessive portions.
Authors of a small study in 2014 gave 250- or 500-gram (g) breakfast servings of banana to fifteen participants with type 2 diabetes and 30 with high cholesterol levels in their blood.
They found that the banana serving did not have significant effects on blood glucose directly after eating, but eating the servings every morning significantly reduced fasting blood glucose.
However, the study authors accept that a larger study would be necessary to confirm the glucose-reducing effect of bananas in a clinically useful way.
A 2017 cohort study of 0.5 million participants suggests that although lower-glycemic-index (GI) fruits are safer for people with diabetes than higher-GI fruits, both can help a person reduce the risk of diabetes developing in the first place.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggest that people with diabetes should incorporate fruit into a controlled diet, such as eating a small piece of whole fruit or a half-serving of large fruit with each meal as a dessert.
Cooking and preparation
The preparation of some processed banana products might make them less suitable for people with diabetes.
For example, some food manufacturers will market dried banana chips as a healthful treat or snack.
However, these may contain added sugars or syrups to enhance flavor. Eating a serving of banana chips is more likely to cause a blood sugar spike than snacking on a small, fresh banana.
Be sure to carefully read nutrition labels and limit or avoid dried fruits that have added sugar.
Diet and safety tips
The following tips may help a person with diabetes safely include bananas into meal and snack times.
Pair bananas with a “healthy” fat or protein source
Eating a banana alongside a source of unsaturated fat, such as almond or peanut butter, pistachios, sunflower seeds, or walnuts, can have a positive impact on blood sugar as well as boost the flavor.
Another healthful option for people with diabetes is to pair a banana with a protein source, such as Greek yogurt.
This will help a person feel fuller for longer and reduce the urge to snack throughout the day, helping them regulate blood sugar.
Consider eating an under-ripe banana
Unripe bananas might release glucose at a slower rate than ripe bananas.
In 1992, an older study of ten subjects with diabetes looked at banana ripeness in regards to blood sugar. The researchers found that green or unripe bananas tended to have a slower effect on blood sugar than ripe bananas.
Unripe bananas contain more starch when compared to ripe bananas. The body cannot break down starches as easily as less complex sugars. This leads to a slower, more controllable increase in blood sugar.
Eat smaller bananas
Portion control can influence the amount of sugar a person consumes in a banana.
Bananas are available in many sizes. A person will take in fewer carbs if they choose a smaller banana.
For example, a small banana that is 6–7 inches long has 23.07 grams (g) of carbohydrates per serving, while an extra-large banana has just under 35 g of carbohydrates.
How many can you eat per day?
The answer to this question depends on the individual, their activity level, and how bananas change their blood sugar.
Some people’s blood glucose may be more sensitive to bananas than others. Knowing how bananas affect a particular individual’s blood sugar can help them manage their medicines and insulin shots, if necessary.
Speak to your doctor or registered dietitian about including bananas in a diabetes meal plan.
Keep track of carbs
One medium-sized, 7–8-inch banana on its own contains approximately 26 g of carbs. Work with a healthcare team to define your target carb intake.
The doctor or dietitian will educate an individual on effective portion control and controlling the intake of fiber, proteins, fats, and carbs in a practical way.
A person should follow their diabetes meal plan closely.
Bear in mind that eating a banana alongside another source of carbohydrates, such as a piece of toast or cereal, means that the overall carb intake from that meal is higher. Depending on nutritional advice from the doctor, it may be necessary to swap out carbs in a later meal.
Alternatively, after eating a meal that is lighter on carbs, you can spend the carbs you’ve saved on a small banana as a snack.
This will ensure no one meal or snack supplies too many carbohydrates.
Overall, bananas are low in saturated fat and sodium, nutrient-dense, and rich in fiber.
They are also a key source of potassium, a mineral that helps balance sodium levels in the blood.
Bananas also have a good mix of other nutrients, including:
Bananas are a safe and nutritious fruit for people with diabetes to eat in moderation as part of a balanced, individualized diet plan.
A person with diabetes should include fresh, plant food options in the diet, such as fruits and vegetables.
Bananas provide plenty of nutrition without adding many calories.
For an exact diet plan, it is a good idea to speak to a registered dietitian or diabetes specialist.
It appears that the response to eating whole eggs depends on the individual.
In 70% of people, eggs had no effect on total or “bad” LDL cholesterol. However, in 30% of people — called hyper-responders — these markers do go up slightly (24).
Although eating a few eggs per day may raise blood cholesterol in some people, they change the “bad” LDL particles from small and dense to large (12, 25).
People who have predominantly large LDL particles have a lower risk of heart disease. So even if eggs cause mild increases in total and LDL cholesterol levels, it’s not a cause for concern (26, 27, 28).
The science is clear that up to 3 whole eggs per day are perfectly safe for healthy people.
SUMMARYEggs consistently raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. For 70% of people, there is no increase in total or LDL cholesterol. Some people may experience a mild increase in a benign subtype of LDL.
Eggs and Heart Disease
Multiple studies have examined egg consumption and heart disease risk.
Many of these are observational studies in which large groups of people are followed for many years.
Researchers then use statistical methods to determine whether certain habits — like diet, smoking or exercise — are linked to either a decreased or increased risk of certain diseases.
These studies — some of which include hundreds of thousands of people — consistently show that people who eat whole eggs are no more likely to develop heart disease than those who don’t.
Some of the studies even show a reduced risk of stroke (29, 30, 31).
However, this research suggests that people who have type 2 diabetes and eat a lot of eggs have an increased risk of heart disease (32).
One controlled study in people with type 2 diabetes found that eating two eggs per day, six days a week, for three months did not significantly affect blood lipid levels (33).
Since sugar consumption has been linked to such severe health problems as obesity and type 2 diabetes, indulging in a doughnut seems like one of the unhealthiest ways to start your day. But is it? Odds are, you’re probably ingesting just as much sugar (if not more) with the drinks, snacks, and condiments you consume every day.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar a day. If you regularly add any of these items to your grocery list, you’ll plow through your daily allotment by lunchtime — and pack on the pounds.
To cut back on added sugar in your diet, make sure you steer clear of these supermarket finds. And if you really want to lose weight and swear off sugar for good, order a copy of Zero Sugar Diet today!
Kind Bar Almonds & Apricots in Yogurt
Nutrition: 190 calories, 11 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 23 g carb, 2.5 g fiber, 16 g sugar, 3 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Don’t let the fruit or yogurt part fool you; with this much sugar, you might as well have a candy bar.
Blue Diamond Vanilla Almond Breeze Almond Milk
Nutrition (1 cup): 80 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 130 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 13 g sugars, 1 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Almond milk may have the reputation of being a healthier alternative to dairy milk, but this brand lists “cane sugar” as its second ingredient.
Activia Vanilla Greek Nonfat Yogurt
Nutrition (5.3 oz): 130 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 12 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: No wonder Greek yogurt is so popular; its protein-to-carb ratio usually makes it a healthy and satisfying breakfast or snack. Just not this brand — it has as much sugar as two doughnuts! Pick one of our 25 Best Yogurts for Weight Loss instead.
Nutrition (1 cup): 290 calories, 16 g fat (10 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 790 mg sodium, 33 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 24 g sugar, 4 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Campbell’s really puts the “sweet” into this sweet basil bisque with almost as much sugar as your recommended daily allotment.
Ocean Spray Original Craisins
Nutrition (¼ cup): 130 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (3 g fiber, 29 g sugar), 0 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Not only does dried fruit naturally have more sugar than regular fruit, Ocean Spray went an extra step to add even more sugar to its dried cranberries, making them basically pieces of candy (or almost three glazed donuts).
Chunky Ragu Tomato, Garlic & Onion
Nutrition (½ cup): 90 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 2 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Jarred pasta sauce is always a sneaky culprit of extra sugar, but Ragu isn’t even discreet about it. Sugar is listed as the third ingredient, before the onion or garlic.
Quaker Instant Oatmeal Apples & Cinnamon
Nutrition (1 packet): 160 calories, 2 g fat 0 g saturated fat, 200 mg sodium, 33 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 4 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Don’t be fooled by the “Heart Healthy” label slapped on the front of the box. This flavor should be called “Sugar & Artificial Flavors” instead of “Apples & Cinnamon” with how much of the sweet stuff is packed into each pouch.
Digiorno Small-Sized Four Cheese Traditional Pizza
Nutrition (1 pizza, 260 g): 710 calories, 29 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 1,190 mg sodium, 88 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 25 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Pizza is a notorious junk food, but Digiorno decided to up the ante by packing more sugar into its small pizza than most bakeries do into their donuts.
Nutrition (1 cup): 190 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 210 mg sodium, 46 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 18 g sugars, 5 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: This nostalgic cereal was once-upon-a-time considered a health food. But with almost as much sugar as two doughnuts, there’s a reason it made our list of The 28 Worst Breakfast Cereals.
Dannon Fruit on the Bottom Cherry
Nutrition (1 container, 150 g): 130 Calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 22 g sugar
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: There’s more than just fruit on the bottom of this yogurt: cane sugar, cornstarch, and carob bean gum are just some of the listed ingredients. Oddly enough, cherries aren’t one of them.
Planter’s Tropical Fruit & Nut Trail Mix
Nutrition (2 oz): 280 calories, 18 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 8 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Bananas and pineapples already pack some of the most sugar of any fruit. Dry them out and toss them with yogurt-covered raisins, and you have this sugar bomb of a trail mix.
Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey BBQ Sauce
Nutrition (2 Tbsp): 70 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 300 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 15 g sugars, 0 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: “Sweet” and “honey” should be cues that this BBQ sauce is trouble. With high fructose corn syrup as the first (!!!) ingredient, you are better off drizzling chocolate sauce on your meat. Seriously.
Tropicana Original No Pulp Orange Juice
Nutrition (8 oz): 110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 22 g sugar, 2 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Starting your day with a sweet glass of OJ is the same thing as starting your day with two donuts. Store-bought orange juice is highly processed anyway and doesn’t offer nearly as many nutrients as eating an actual orange.
Kashi Black Bean Mango Bowl
Nutrition: 340 calories, 8 g fat, 380 mg sodium, 56 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 10 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Mangoes already pack a lot of sugar. With the rest of this bowl swimming in mango and apple juice concentrates, its no wonder it has more sugar than a glazed donut.
Clif Bar Carrot Cake
Nutrition (1 bar): 240 calories, 4 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 150 mg sodium, 45 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 25 g sugar, 9 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: This “protein” bar isn’t far off from an actual slice of carrot cake (which has around 27 grams of sugar). Do your taste buds a favor and just eat the donut.
Smucker’s SeedlessStrawberry Jam
Nutrition (1 Tbsp): 50 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 0 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Ahhh, the jam that makes classic PB&Js possible… it’s a shame there’s virtually no nutritional value in this sugar-packed jelly. Steer clear: HFCS, regular corn syrup, and sugar are all ingredients.
Special K Fruit & Yogurt
Nutrition (1 cup): 160 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 105 mg sodium, 36 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 3 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Yet another brand using “fruit” and “yogurt” to mislead customers. Special K manages to fit five different types of sugar into this box, with sugar being the third listed ingredient.
Silk Chocolate Soy Milk
Nutrition (1 cup): 120 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 17 g sugars, 5 g protein.
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Even though it’s plant-based, this soy milk isn’t much different from any other bottled chocolate milk you’ll find at the grocery store.
Bertolli Tomato Basil
Nutrition (½ cup, 125 g): 70 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 13 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 3 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: You’d never season your pasta with the sugar bowl, so why dump such a sweet sauce onto your entrée? With more sugar than a donut, it’s better to ditch this jar of marinara.
Nutri-Grain Strawberry Bar
Nutrition: (1 bar, 1.3 oz): 120 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 125 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 2 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Nutri-Grain markets these as breakfast bars, but they’re better off being served as a dessert.
Skinny Cow Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich
Nutrition (1 sandwich, 71 g): 150 calories, 2.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 120 mg sodium, 29 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 4 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: There’s nothing “skinny” about 150 calories and 15 grams of sugar. You might as well have a scoop of regular ice cream… or a donut and a half.
Gatorade Fruit Punch
Nutrition (20 oz): 140 calories, 0 g fat, 270 mg sodium, 36 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 34 g sugar, 0 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Replenishing your workout with a Gatorade undoes all the hard work you sweated out at the gym and then some — three donuts’ worth.
Annie’s Organic Swirly Strawberry Really Peely Fruit Tape
Nutrition: (1 roll): 80 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 5 mg sodium, 17 g carbs, less than 1 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 0 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Fruit snacks are just candy with better marketing, and this Annie’s fruit tape is no different. With 13 grams of sugar, it’s not exactly a nutritious snack for the kiddos.
Minute Maid Lemonade
Nutrition (8 oz): 110 calories, 0g fat, 15 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrates, 28 g sugar, 0 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: Sipping this lemonade definitely won’t make you look like Beyoncé; a small 8-ounce glass will set you back almost three donuts’ worth of sugar.
Nutrition (2 Tbsp): 200 calories, 11 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 21 g sugar, 3 g protein
Zero Sugar Diet Shocker: You can spread Nutella on whole grain bread, an apple, or even broccoli — that still doesn’t make it healthy. With more sugar than two donuts, it’s definitely something to skip at the supermarket.