Many people would be willing to try sugar free/low carb if they had guidance as to how and where to start. Its not difficult, but can certainly be overwhelming to start. This is a shopping list that I keep myself. I may not buy everything on the list everytime but its an excellent reference. Some of these items may not be essentials for the sugar free/low carb newbie but keep it on hand for when you are more comfortable with low carbing.
ALWAYS READ LABELS! Look first at the Carbohydrate content. Keep it as low as possible! Usually, if it is low in carbs it is low in sugar, but not always the other way around so ALWAYS CHECK THE NUTRITION LABELS!
SO IMPORTANT: THE TRUE CARBOHYDRATE COUNT IS THE CARBS MINUS THE FIBER. Carbs-Fiber=true carb count. High fiber will help you to widen the variety of foods you can eat.
Meat and Fish (all kinds but opt for leaner meats and try turkey instead of hamburger and sausage as a much healthier alternative)
Shellfish (all except imitation crab meat)
Deli Meat (watch labels - nitrate free is preferable)
Fruits and Veggies
Green, Red, Yellow and Orange Bell peppers
Tomatoes (go easy on these as a general rule)
Peppers (jalapeño, etc.)
Heavy Whipping Cream
Half & Half
All hard and soft cheeses
Eggs (why is this considered dairy again?-oh well)
real butter (switch to real butter! Did you know that margarine is only one molecule away from being plastic? Yuck!)
Other Items used for snacks or low carb cooking
Sugar Free Jell-O
Sugar Free Pudding Mix
Diet Hot Cocoa (read labels)
Crystal Light (mix is better than pre-made)
Sugar Free Kool-Aide
Low-Carb tortillas (read labels)
Nut flours and Guar or Xanthan Gum-(Not an essential this minute but when you get more comfortable with everything and want to start baking low carb you'll need this to replace the gluten in flour which you wont be using. I'll get into low carb baking later on)
Protein Powders (no carb protein powders)
Davinci Sugar Free Syrups for deserts and coffee (health food stores or bought online)
Beef Jerky and Slim Jims
Peanut Butter(in moderation) but try almond butter too-sooo good!
Miso soup (you know that soup with tofu and seaweed that they serve as an appetizer at Japanese restaraunts? Well, its verrry low carb and really tasty! They have individual packets to make instant Miso Soup at Walmart in the Chinese Food section.
Tofu (extra firm is usually easier to work with)
Pickles (not the bread & butter pickles, just the sour ones)
Sugar Free Syrup to use on Mock Pancakes is fine (check carb content)
Shredded parmesan cheese