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A 7-Day Meal Plan with (Almost!) No Added Sugar
by Becky Duffett

Between candy treats and cookie swaps, the world is dusted with sugar this time of year. But taking a brief break from the rush isn’t as hard as you might think. Here’s a 7-day meal plan that cuts out nearly all added sugar and features lots of natural alternatives—so you don’t have to take all of the sweet out of your week.

The rules: Say no to white sugar, brown sugar, honey, and maple syrup, the obvious sources. You also want to avoid added sugar, which usually comes from sugary drinks, like soda and juice drinks; sweets, like candy, cookies, and cakes; as well as some sneakier sources, like fruit-flavored yogurt, granola bars, and condiments. But it’s definitely okay to enjoy natural sugar, found in fresh fruit and dairy, to help satisfy sweet cravings. Important note: It’s your call if you want to make an exception for heart-healthy dark chocolate. Because chocolate.

Here’s the full shopping list for exactly what to buy, and check to make sure you have these pantry staples on hand. There are lots more options for healthy snacks, if you want to mix it up. And even if you’re not going to cook every single night, you can still pick and choose a few recipes, to get some ideas and inspiration.

MONDAY

Breakfast: 1 cup Greek yogurt + 1 cup berries
Morning snack: 1 apple + 2 tablespoons almond butter
Lunch: 3 oz shredded chicken + ¼ cup Greek yogurt + ½ cup grapes + 2 cups greens +1 whole-wheat roll
Afternoon snack: 1 cup carrots & celery + 2 tablespoons hummus
Dinner: 4 oz salmon + 1 cup mashed sweet potato + sautéed kale + 2 teaspoons olive oil
Dessert: 1 oz dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa)

1,530 calories, 11 grams added sugar

TUESDAY

Breakfast: 1 cup cooked oatmeal + 1 cup low-fat milk + 1 apple + cinnamon
Morning snack: 1 small banana + 2 tablespoons almond butter
Lunch: 2 slices whole-wheat bread + 3 oz turkey + 1 oz cheese + 1 cup greens
Afternoon snack: 1 cup bell peppers & sugar snaps + 1 mozzarella cheese stick
Dinner: Poached Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce + 1 whole-wheat roll + 2 teaspoons butter
Dessert: 1 cup strawberries

1,492 calories, 8 grams added sugar

WEDNESDAY

Breakfast: 1 cup Greek yogurt + 1 cup berries
Morning snack: 1 apple + 2 tablespoons almond butter
Lunch: 3 oz shredded chicken + ¼ cup Greek yogurt + ½ cup grapes + 2 cups greens + 1 whole-wheat roll
Afternoon snack: 1 cup carrots & celery + 2 tablespoons hummus
Dinner: Chicken Burrito Bowls Dessert: 1 orange + 1 oz dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa)

1,537 calories, 12 grams added sugar

THURSDAY

Breakfast: 1 cup oatmeal + 1 cup low-fat milk + 1 apple + cinnamon
Morning snack: 1 small banana + 2 tablespoons almond butter
Lunch: 2 slices whole-wheat bread + 3 oz turkey + ¼ avocado + sliced tomato + 1 cup greens
Afternoon snack: 1 cup bell peppers & sugar snaps + 1 mozzarella cheese stick
Dinner: Tofu Stir-Fry with Sweet Peppers
Dessert: 1 cup strawberries

1,614 calories, 12 grams added sugar

FRIDAY

Breakfast: 1 cup Greek yogurt + 1 cup berries
Morning snack: 1 apple + 2 tablespoons almond butter
Lunch: 3 oz shredded chicken + ¼ cup Greek yogurt + ½ cup grapes + 2 cups greens + 1 whole-wheat roll
Afternoon snack: 1 cup carrots & celery + 2 tablespoons hummus
Dinner: Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Greens & Beans Dessert: 1 cup strawberries + 1 oz dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa)

1,533 calories, 11 grams added sugar

SATURDAY

Breakfast: 1 slice whole-wheat bread + 2 eggs + 1 orange
Morning snack: 1 small banana + 2 tablespoons almond butter
Lunch: 1 slice whole-wheat bread + 3 oz tuna + ¼ cup Greek yogurt + ¼ avocado + ½ cup chopped celery + 2 cups greens
Afternoon snack: 1 cup bell peppers & sugar snaps + 1 mozzarella cheese stick
Dinner: Zucchini Noodles with Pesto & Shrimp
Dessert: 1 cup grapes

1,476 calories, 3 grams added sugar

SUNDAY

Breakfast: 1 slice whole-wheat toast + 2 eggs + 1 orange
Morning snack: 1 apple + 2 tablespoons almond butter
Lunch: 1 slice whole-wheat bread + 3 oz tuna + ¼ cup Greek yogurt + ½ cup chopped celery + 1 oz cheese + sliced tomato
Afternoon snack: 1 cup carrots & celery + 2 tablespoons hummus
Dinner: Curried Butternut Squash Soup + 1 whole-wheat roll
Dessert: 1 oz dark chocolate (at least 70 percent cocoa)

1,556 calories, 20 grams added sugar

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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.