Sneaky Sugars | Beat belly bloat by banning the sneaky sweet stuff.

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Sometimes, the belt won’t budge. We are doing everything right, so we think. We are watching what we eat meticulously, getting our workouts in, and we still can’t push through our latest weight plateau. Let’s place the magnifying glass upon four sneaky little culprits that could be holding our weight hostage. 1) Balsamic Vinegar

True, authentic balsamic vinegar comes from Italy and is made with only grape musts – whole pressed grapes including skin, seeds and stems – that undergo a 12-year aging process in a small wooden cask. Most of the varieties that we enjoy are the imitation of this product, which includes sweetener and coloring. Unfortunately, a large portion of the calories comes from sugars since one tablespoon holds about 14 calories and two grams of the sweet stuff. If dressing your salad, opt for apple cider vinegar and a little oil instead.

2) Green Juice

You think you’re doing well by getting your green drink on. But the truth is most of them contain a ton of sugar and you’re missing out on the fiber from the fruit itself. One popular green juice is Green Machine by Naked. A 15.2-ounce bottle contains an overwhelming 53 grams of sugar! The recommended maximum allowance of sugar a day for women is 25 grams. This “healthy” drink packs in over two days’ worth of sugar. Be very careful and read labels closely. Better yet, find an actual juice bar that presses their juices on site. 3) Dried Fruit

Salads and nut mixes are constantly being assaulted with candied or dried fruits. It completely cancels out the healthy! A quarter cup of dried, sweetened cranberries has almost 30 grams of sugar. That’s a tiny amount of food with an enormous amount of naughty. Taking dried fruits out of your diet is one small change that can make a big difference. 4) Yogurt

Six ounces of Dannon Fruit on the Bottom Blueberry Yogurt contains 24 grams of the sneaky sweet stuff. Strained Greek unsweetened yogurt has a minimal amount of sugar and is undeniably the smartest choice. However, companies are dressing up their Greek yogurts to give us more variety, but it is not helping our waistlines one bit. Read those labels carefully and if it has more than seven grams of sugar, know that you can do better. While the flavor might not be what you are used to, you can sweeten things up on your own with some stevia drops. My favorite brand is SweetLeaf because they have a ton of great flavors!