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It’s a well-known fact that sugar consumption is associated with health problems including obesity, diabetes, certain cancers and more. For that reason, many people do their best to avoid indulging in junk foods like candy, soda pop and chocolate on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, those same individuals often don’t realize that a lot of the foods they eat regularly, even daily, are full of hidden sugars. I see many of my most health-conscious clients—from models to regular civilians—try to make good dietary choices, but fall into this sugar trap.

When a new client starts working with me, the first thing I have her do is fill out a food diary for a few days. Usually, the girls complain that they can’t understand why they’re not losing weight and reaching their physical goals. They’re eating healthy meals all day, exercising and avoiding unhealthy foods, but they aren’t getting results.

When I look at these diaries, I often see that the women are consuming hidden sugars in foods that are labeled “fat-free” or “lite.” One of the major problem areas is condiments: Salad dressing, ketchup, barbecue sauce, light peanut butter, tomato sauce and teriyaki sauce are some of the most common culprits.

Consuming toppings like these regularly make losing weight much more difficult. For instance, when barbecue sauce is added to a chicken breast, it often has more calories than the chicken breast itself.

There are many healthy alternatives that are delicious and better choices, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Mustard, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (a soy sauce stand-in), no sugar added ketchup, natural nut butters, salsa, herbs, spices, lemon and lime are just some of the options for adding flavor to your food. You don't need to sacrifice taste to cutdown on unwanted sugar, calories and carbohydrates.

It is crucial, when shopping, to read the ingredient labels in the store. By spending an extra minute or two doing this, you’ll make better food choices longterm. You will know exactly what is in the product and what you are putting into your body. It’s also important to note that ingredients are listed in the order of quantity.

Cutting down on added sugar in our diets on a regular basis is key to reaching our health and cosmetic goals. The more informed we are about our food choices, the easier it becomes to make positive decisions. Spicing up our foods with alternatives to sugar-filled condiments sets us on a path to healthier and slimmer bodies.

Read more about clean eating:

Keep Oats In Your Diet

Learning To Love Cooking

A Simple Cleanse That Works

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