An effective probiotic, yogurt can be part of a healthy diet if you're eating the right kind, meaning it's non-dairy and doesn't come pre-sweetened or colored with artificial dyes. Unfortunately, most of the flavored yogurts on the market are heavily sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup. According to the USDA's National Nutrient Database, a five-ounce container of strawberry yogurt has 17 grams of sugar, more than you'd get in an equivalent amount of soda. If the sugar content of yogurt wasn’t enough, finding out What Dairy Really Does to Your Body might just put you off it for good.
While we generally consider crackers a more savory food than sweet, many popular brands have tons of sugar or high fructose corn syrup in them. Ritz' whole wheat crackers have nearly half a gram of sugar per cracker, courtesy of HFCS, which has been shown to cause obesity and increased body fat in rats, according to a study conducted by researchers from Princeton University and The Rockefeller University.
A little bit of ketchup goes a long way, both in terms of flavor and sugar content. Just two tablespoons of ketchup has eight grams of sugar, and most of us aren't exactly limiting our portion sizes when we've got fries to dip. Even worse, many brands rely on potentially obesity-triggering high fructose corn syrup to sweeten their formulas. However, just because you’re giving up ketchup doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying your favorite fruits and veggies — check out these 20 Reasons to Eat More Tomatoes!
That sandwich you're eating could be the source of a surprising amount of sugar. Whole wheat bread can have as many as two grams of sugar per slice, and that's before you put anything on it. While the sweetener in your bread may be alarming, the additives and preservatives keeping it fresh may be just as harmful.
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- Dried Fruit
Fruit is generally more than sweet enough as it is, but some companies think they can improve upon perfection by adding even more sugar to it. A 100-gram portion of sweetened dried mango has 66 grams of sugar in it, more than twice what you'd get in a package of two cream-filled snack cakes. To enjoy a sweet snack that won’t pack on the pounds, ditch the dried fruit and enjoy one of the 25 Best Fruits For a Flatter Belly.
When picking out wine for your next dinner party, make sure you opt for a bottle on the dry side. In a standard glass of Riesling, one of the sweeter white wines, you'll get nearly six grams of sugar. If you're looking for a tasty wine that improve your health, opt for merlot, which may help you fight fat while improving your overall health. For a satisfying drink that won’t impede your weight loss journey, check out the 40 Drinks That Melt Fat!
- Thousand Island Dressing
If you wouldn't pour sugar directly onto your salad, you might want to rethink that dollop of Thousand Island dressing. Two tablespoons of this sweet dressing has almost 5 grams of sugar. For some extra flavor, try one of the tasty Zero Belly Cookbook salad dressing recipes instead.
- Canned Beans
Beans can be a great source of fiber and sugar, but some canned varieties have a shocking amount of sugar in them, in addition to potentially carcinogenic dyes and BPA. One cup of Campbell's baked beans has 26 grams of sugar in it. You might as well just eat dessert! That doesn’t mean beans can have a place in your diet, however — in their unsalted, sugar-free form, they’re one of the 45 Vegetarian Protein Sources You Should Be Eating.
- Sandwich Spread
Mayonnaise alternatives, like Miracle Whip, get their distinctive flavor from — you guessed it — sugar. Two tablespoons of this sandwich spread adds more than three grams of sugar to your meals, and that's not even counting the high fructose corn syrup that could be in your bread. Make your sandwich delicious without all the added sugar by whipping up your own batch of Zero Belly mayonnaise instead.
- Tomato Sauce
Tomatoes are naturally sweet as it is, but many manufacturers add a surprising amount of extra sugar to their recipe. Just one cup of tomato sauce may have as much as nine grams of sugar in it. For a healthy alternative, whip up your own batch in a slow-cooker with inflammation-fighting antioxidant-rich fresh tomatoes, olive oil, and your favorite salt-free herbs and spices. Find out why you shouldn’t make salty sauce a reason to banish tomatoes from your diet entirely with the 20 Reasons to Eat More Tomatoes!
- Frozen Meals
Frozen meals need to retain their flavor for a long time, meaning they're often loaded with sugar and salt to keep them palatable after a prolonged period collecting icicles in your grocery store's freezer case. To make sure you're not getting a truckload of sugar of HFCS every time you microwave a meal, check the nutrition label. Sugar isn’t the only thing your frozen food could be hiding — frozen meals also make our list of 45 Shocking Sources of Sodium in Your Diet.
- Hoisin Sauce
While hoisin sauce, commonly used in certain Chinese dishes, is traditionally made from soybeans, the kind in your local supermarket is a combination of spices, sugar, and starch. In just one tablespoon of this barbecue-style sauce, you're getting more than four grams of sugar.
Have you ever noticed that the coleslaw that comes with your meal at a diner has a slightly sweet flavor to it? Your taste buds aren't playing tricks on you — this stuff is virtually dessert, with more than 23 grams of sugar in an average cup, much of which comes from high fructose corn syrup. The sugar content isn’t the only reason to turn down that coleslaw; cabbage is one of the 40 Foods That Could Harm Your Thyroid, too.
While you might hope that your smoothie was made from little more than fruit and ice, that's not always the case. Bottled smoothies, like V8 Splash, can contain 18 grams of sugar per cup. Instead of a sugary bottled juice, opt for one of our 4 Best Smoothies For Weight Loss!
- Barbecue Sauce
We all know that we're getting a whole lot of fat when we dig into a rack of ribs, but not everyone's aware that they're chowing down on a massive amount of sugar, too. In a single cup of barbecue sauce, you'll be putting away a jaw-dropping 92 grams of sugar.
- Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce, generally used to season meat, may be adding more sugar to your food than you realize. In just two tablespoons of the stuff, you'll get more than three grams of sugar.
The weight loss-boosting, metabolism-revving capsaicin in certain types of hot salsa can make it a great addition to a healthy diet. However, not all salsas are created equal — many salsas contain a surprising amount of added sugar. Two tablespoons of Trader Joe's peach salsa contains four grams of sugar, much of it from cane syrup, while other companies rely on high fructose corn syrup to sweeten their recipes. Instead of jarred salsa that could be hiding sugar, add flavor to your food with some of the 6 Best Spices For Weight Loss.
Even if you aren't dumping sugar into your coffee, you may be getting a fair amount of it. Much of the flavoring used in the coffee at your favorite chain comes from sugar-filled syrup. A Dunkin' Donuts small French vanilla swirl iced coffee with no added milk or sugar has 24 grams of sugar in it. Sugar-laden pick-me-ups are just one of the reasons Your Favorite Coffee Chain Drink is Making You Fat.
- Protein Bars
That protein bar you're using as a meal replacement might be replacing healthy protein, fat, and fiber with a surprising amount of sugar. Many popular protein bars contain more than 20 grams of sugar per serving, and some use a mix of sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) and artificial sweetener, both of which can contribute to weight gain and harmful belly fat. Instead of grabbing a protein bar, enjoy one of The Best Breakfasts For All-Day Energy!
- Bran Flakes
Don't let their innocent reputation fool you — those bran flakes might just be a junk food in disguise. One cup of Health Valley's bran flakes packs 11 grams of sugar. For a breakfast that's just as easy but far healthier, try a superfood combo of oatmeal and apples instead.
- French Dressing
French dressing isn't doing that healthy salad any favors. Each tablespoon of this sugary dressing has almost three grams of sugar in it. If that doesn't seem like a lot, think about it this way: pancake syrup has four. Sugary dressings are just another reason to avoid the 40 Unhealthiest Chain Restaurant Salads.
- Iced Tea
Iced tea can be a refreshing drink on a hot day, but make sure the one you're sipping is unsweetened, or you could be getting a huge helping of sugar. A cup of sweetened lemon tea has as many as 26 grams of sugar in it, and most bottles hold two to three times that amount. Fortunately, without all that sugar in it, tea can still be a healthy part of your Zero Belly plan — swap out the sugary iced tea and try some of the 40 Drinks That Melt Fat instead!
- Korma Sauce
If you're going out for Indian food, steer clear of dishes cooked in korma sauce. Just half a cup of this creamy sauce has 185 calories, more than 20 percent of your recommended daily allowance of sodium, and four grams of sugar.
- Potato Chips
We all know that potato chips aren't exactly health food, but some kinds are definitely worse than others. A bag of barbecue-flavored chips has nearly 11 grams of sugar in it, and flavors like cheese don’t fare much better, with nine grams per bag. Chips are often the source of numerous unhealthy additives as well, so make sure you know what you're eating before you decide to indulge. Sugar isn’t the only thing you’ll get with those potato chips — they’re also one of the 45 Shocking Sources of Sodium in Your Diet.
- Green Juice
That green juice may have more than just veggies in it. What makes many bottled green juices so palatable is the fruit juice that's added to them — in fact, many of them are primarily fruit juice with just a hint of vegetables for color. One cup of Naked's Green Machine smoothie has almost 31 grams of sugar in it; that's more than you'd get in the same amount of Coke. For a tasty alternative, opt for one of Zero Belly's 8 Best Lose-Your-Gut Smoothies instead.
When you add flavorful Sriracha sauce to your food, you're getting a whole lot of sugar with that spice. One tablespoon of the peppery sauce has nearly three grams of sugar in it — in fact, sugar is the second ingredient on the label. While the capsaicin in Sriracha may provide a bit of a metabolic boost, you'll want to watch your serving size. For a less sugary way to spice up your food, add some of the 6 Best Spices For Weight Loss.
- Flavored Cream Cheese
If you're adding flavored cream cheese to that bagel, you might as well be frosting it. Two tablespoons of Philadelphia's strawberry cream cheese has four grams of sugar in it, as well as red 40, a colorant that is often contaminated with carcinogens, according to a study conducted at UCLA, and has been shown to cause cancer in mice. Sugar isn’t the only thing cream cheese is hiding — find out What Dairy Really Does to Your Body!
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
Vinegar and oil, two of the primary ingredients in balsamic vinaigrette, make for an ideal salad topping on their own. However, much of the bottled vinaigrette you'll get at the store has had a boatload of sugar added to it. Two ounces will add three grams of sugar to your salad, as well as countless icky preservatives and additives.
- Canned Soup
There are plenty of reasons to cut canned soup out of your diet: huge levels of sodium, preservatives, and BPA, to name a few. If you're looking for one more strike against the saddest office lunch, make sugar it. While antioxidant-rich tomatoes on their own may cut your risk of heart disease, much of the tomato soup you'll find at the supermarket is far from healthy — an average can of the stuff has 22 grams of sugar in it. Canned soup’s potential exposure to BPA earns it a not-so-proud placement among the 25 Foods You Should Never Eat.
Relish may be low in calories, but its sky-high sugar content more than makes up for it. In just one tablespoon, you'll get more than four grams of sugar, as well as 122 milligrams of sodium.
- Red Curry
Your favorite Thai curry might just be a sugar bomb. In one cup of Amy's Thai red curry, you'll get seven grams of sugar from the brown and white sugar added to the recipe, and many prepared foods can pack surprisingly high levels of sodium. For healthier ways to add flavor to your diet, try the 6 Best Spices For Weight Loss!
- Black Bean Sauce
Many of us are guilty of it: we place a takeout order, thinking that the combo of lean meat and veggies can't be that bad for us, only to discover that our food is drowning in sugary sauce. Black bean sauce, a common topping for Chinese veggie dishes, is one of the worst offenders when it comes to sugar, with four grams per tablespoon. Instead, opt for sauce on the side or ask for no sauce and add just a dash of probiotic low-sodium soy sauce instead — it's one of our 45 best foods for a healthier gut.
- Canned Fruit
"Fruit cocktail" seems like a misnomer when much of what you'll find in those cans is syrup with a few stray cherries and mandarin orange slices floating around in it. In just one cup of traditional fruit cocktail, you'll get more than 44 grams of sugar, much of it from HFCS, which has been identified as a contributing factor to our current obesity epidemic. Cut out the canned stuff and opt for some of the 25 Best Fruits For a Flatter Belly instead!
Your favorite breakfast carb might be packing more sugar than you're expecting. An average whole wheat bagel has six grams of sugar in it, while one of the cinnamon-raisin variety can pack up to eight grams, as well as plenty of belly-busting preservatives and additives. Instead of opting for bagels, enjoy some of the 15 Best Grains For Weight Loss!
- Oyster Sauce
I hate to break it to you, but the major ingredient in that oyster sauce isn't oysters, it's sugar. A two-tablespoon serving of this popular Chinese condiment has four grams of sugar in it, and most recipes call for many times that amount.
- Italian Dressing
Italian dressing is no friend to your waistline. Just two tablespoons has more than three grams of sugar. If you're itching to dress your salad, cut your heart disease risk with a mix of of olive oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard that adds plenty of flavor without any extra sugar. Heavily-sweetened dressings are one of many reasons to avoid the 40 Unhealthiest Chain Restaurant Salads.
- Cocktail Sauce
If you're eating cocktail sauce along with your shrimp, you've been more or less dipping them into sugar this whole time. While shrimp are among the healthiest seafoods on the market, adding just two tablespoons of cocktail sauce will set you back three grams of sugar.
- Coconut Water
That post-workout coconut water you're used to grabbing could be adding a whole lot of sugar to your diet. A 16-ounce container of sweetened coconut water has 15 grams of sugar in it. If you can't break the habit, make sure the label lets you know that there's no sugar beyond what the coconut is bringing naturally. Ditch the sweetened coconut water in favor of the 40 Drinks That Melt Fat!
- Teriyaki Sauce
There's a reason kids can be persuaded to eat nearly any vegetable if it's covered in teriyaki sauce: the stuff is full of sugar. Every two-ounce serving of the stuff packs more than five grams of sugar, and many recipes call for at least a cup. Instead of loading your meal with sugary teriyaki sauce, flavor it the healthy way with one of the 6 Best Spices For Weight Loss instead.
- Russian Dressing
Russian dressing, much like similar Thousand Island dressing, is laden with sugar. You'll get more than five grams of sugar in every two-tablespoon serving you spoon onto that salad. For a healthier option, whip up a batch of tasty, belly-friendly Zero Belly Cookbook Green Goddess dressing.
- Non-Dairy Milk
Non-dairy milk can be a great way to enjoy your favorite foods without the inflammation and bloating that come along with consuming dairy. However, that doesn't mean that all varieties are created equal — one cup of chocolate soy milk has 20 grams of sugar in it. To keep your Zero Belly plan on track, opt for unsweetened varieties or enjoy one of the 40 Drinks That Melt Fat!
- Shredded Coconut
Coconut's medium chain triglycerides make them a powerful weapon in the fight against obesity and belly fat, according to a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University and the New York Obesity Research Center. Unfortunately, many brands of shaved coconut are heavily sweetened, with more than 31 grams of sugar per cup. If you're adding coconut to your recipes, make sure to buy the unsweetened variety, or, better yet, shred and toast your own.
Oatmeal can fall into two categories: near-perfect breakfast food or sugar and salt-laden dietary disaster. Just one packet of flavored oatmeal can pack 12 grams of sugar. For a healthier option, add a bit of fruit and drizzle with probiotic, antibacterial manuka honey. Don’t let this convince you to ditch oatmeal entirely, just the sugary stuff — there’s a reason oatmeal makes our list of 15 Best Grains For Weight Loss!